Athletics

Now what? Chapman's injury doesn't mean all is lost for A's

Athletics

Well, that sucks.

The A’s announced on Saturday star third baseman Matt Chapman is expected to miss the remainder of the season and will undergo surgery on Monday to repair a right hip injury.

So what does this mean for the A’s, a team hoping to make a deep postseason run?

For starters, breathe. All is not lost.

Vimael Machín will start at third in the first half of the doubleheader against the Texas Rangers on Saturday. That could be a sight to get used to. Originally, the Rule 5 Draft pick appeared to be in line to be part of the second base competition heading into the season. However, with the trio of Tony Kemp, Tommy La Stella and Chad Pinder, that position was more than well-taken care of.

From the beginning, A’s manager Bob Melvin said Machín just needed some more exposure, more at-bats to perhaps prove himself. And now, it’ll be his time to shine.

In 55 plate appearances this season, he’s slashing .204/.291/.224 with 10 hits. He has a past of being extremely patient at the plate and was referred to as a “walk God” by FanGraphs in 2019 when he walked 69 times in 129 games -- a 16.1 percent rate in Triple-A during his time in the Chicago Cubs organization. 

 

If he continues to be productive at the plate, he could make the sting of missing Chapman less intense.

Pinder and La Stella also have gotten starts at third during Chapman's absence, and their versatility now becomes an even greater asset to Melvin down the stretch of the regular season.

Outfielder Seth Brown was who the A’s recalled after putting Chapman on the injured list, and pitcher Daulton Jefferies was the extra player added to the 29-man roster for Saturday's doubleheader.

This doesn’t mean other moves won’t be made in the near future.

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Sheldon Neuse is down at the San Jose alternate training site, and is another option at third base. He played in 25 games last season with the A’s, where he struck out a noticeably high amount of times and didn’t possess a lot of power.

A two-time Platinum Glove Award-winning player can seem impossible to replace, but the A’s have some solid options.