Athletics

A's starter Jesse Hahn exits game vs Marlins with triceps injury

A's starter Jesse Hahn exits game vs Marlins with triceps injury

OAKLAND — A’s starter Jesse Hahn left Tuesday night’s game in the third inning with a strained right triceps.

The right-hander had surrendered seven hits and four runs when he was visited by manager Bob Melvin and A’s head trainer Nick Paparesta after allowing Christian Yelich’s leadoff single in the third. Following a short conversation, Hahn headed for the dugout.

The A’s already were trailing 4-1 at the time, and Bobby Wahl was called in cold from the bullpen. After being given all the time he needed to warm up, Wahl gave up two doubles, a single and two wild pitches as the Marlins added on three more runs to take a 7-1 lead that they held as of the bottom of the fourth.

Hahn came in 1-3 with a 3.02 ERA over nine games (eight starts) after replacing Raul Alcantara in the rotation in early April. Hahn was sidelined for roughly a month late in 2016 with a strained right shoulder and missed the final three months of the 2015 season with right elbow inflammation.

Since Sean Manaea returned from a shoulder setback May 15, the A’s have been operating with what looked like a consistent five-man starting staff with Sonny Gray, Kendall Graveman, Manaea, Andrew Triggs and Hahn.

 

What Matt Olson injury means for A's offense, defense at first base

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AP/USATSI

What Matt Olson injury means for A's offense, defense at first base

The A's fears became a reality Friday when Gold Glove first baseman Matt Olson had to undergo surgery on his right hand.

No timetable has been provided for Olson's return, but a 2018 article in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine which studied similar procedures suggests he will likely miss three to seven weeks.

This is obviously a huge loss for Oakland. Beyond Olson's terrific defense, the 24-year-old provided tremendous power in the middle of the lineup.

Last season, Olson slashed .247/.335/.453 with 29 home runs and 84 RBI. That production won't be easy to replace, but the A's do have some reasonable options.

Platoon players Mark Canha and Chad Pinder can both play first base, and carry plenty of power in their bats. Canha clubbed 17 home runs and 22 doubles last year in just 365 at-bats. Pinder, meanwhile, hit 28 homers in 580 at-bats over the last two seasons.

Another option for the A's is to move Jurickson Profar to first base -- where he played 24 games last year -- and start Franklin Barreto at second. Barreto is coming off a terrific spring, hitting .375 (12-for-32) with a home run, four doubles, three RBI, five walks, and eight runs scored.

Barreto now has a great chance to make the 25-man roster in Olson's place. The 23-year-old has long been considered one of the A's top prospects, but has never had a chance to get consistent playing time in the big leagues. Oakland moved him from second base to the outfield this spring, but now a return to second makes sense.

[RELATED: Can A's regroup after rough beginning to season?]

The A's are fortunate to have enough offensive depth to survive the loss of Olson, but the biggest impact will likely show up on defense. Olson's height and scooping ability at first base will be incredibly hard to replace.

Nonetheless, Oakland showed the ability to overcome injury adversity last season. The A's just have to do it again this year.

A's slugger Matt Olson undergoes successful surgery on his right hand

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AP

A's slugger Matt Olson undergoes successful surgery on his right hand

The A's announced on Friday that 2018 Gold Glove first baseman Matt Olson underwent successful right hamate excision surgery on his right hand. The surgery was performed in Los Angeles by Dr. Steven Shin:

Olson left Thursday's game against the Mariners in Japan due to some discomfort in his right hand as he was having some trouble gripping his bat. 

While we are unsure how long Olson will be out, this article in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine states similar injuries could sideline players from three to seven weeks with the median time ranging around five weeks.

For now, the A's do have Mark Canha who can play first base. Jurickson Profar is always an option as well since he can play anywhere. But he covers so much range in the middle of the infield, picturing him anywhere else but second base seems strange.

We knew this was looking like bad news when it happened, but now that we know for sure, the A's need to figure out a more direct plan knowing the team is without their first baseman and a very powerful bat to start out the season.