When Nick Martini tripped and fell headfirst into the wall Tuesday, the initial concern was about his neck and back. It turns out the primary damage was done to his knee.
Martini, 28, will miss at least two weeks with a sprained right knee, Oakland manager Bob Melvin told reporters Thursday. With the A's leaving for Japan in two weeks, Martini now seems like a longshot to make the Opening Day roster.
The injury makes 29-year-old Robbie Grossman the favorite to earn the starting left field job to begin the season. The switch hitter signed with Oakland earlier this month after spending the past three years in Minnesota.
The A's interest in Grossman shouldn't be surprising, given his terrific on-base percentage. Last season, he posted a .273/.367/.384 slash line; he has a .355 career on-base percentage in six big-league seasons.
Mark Canha also figures to get some playing time in left field, particularly when the A's face a left-handed starter. Canha hit .282/.337/.604 with 13 home runs against southpaws last season.
Martini could still get an opportunity once the season gets going, but with options remaining, he figures to start the year in Triple-A. The long-time minor leaguer burst onto the scene last season with the A's, slashing .296/.397/.414 and claiming Oakland's leadoff spot.
[RELATED: Martini's 2019 outlook]
If nothing else, the A's find themselves with tremendous depth in the outfield. Dustin Fowler, Franklin Barreto, and Chad Pinder are also possibilities in left field, though Pinder can play just about anywhere. Fowler and Barreto will likely start the year in Triple-A.