Athletics infielder Eric Sogard is undergoing left knee surgery at the moment, manager Bob Melvin told reporters, including Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link). Last week, Sogard informed the media that doctors had found loose bodies in his knee and would likely undergo surgery. Sogard said he’s played through pain in his knee the past couple of years, but he’s reached the point where surgery is required. Dr. James Andrews is performing the operation, tweets John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group.
At the time the injury was made known to the public, Sogard was expected to be out six to eight weeks, though a definitive timeline won’t be known until the operation is completed and the club makes some form of announcement. Losing Sogard for an extended period does thin out the Athletics’ infield depth, but as is so often the case in Oakland, the club has enough players that are capable of handling multiple spots to cover in his absence. Jed Lowrie (second base) and Marcus Semien (shortstop) currently comprise the middle-infield duo for Melvin’s team. While the bench lacks a true backup shortstop, Lowrie has plenty of experience and could slide across the infield should a need arise, with Chris Coghlan then presenting an alternative at second base. Should the A’s need to tap into their minor league system to bolster the big league club’s infield depth, versatile Tyler Ladendorf is on the 40-man roster and has played shortstop, second base, third base and all three outfield spots in his minor league career.
Sogard, 29, has spent parts of the past six seasons with the A’s and seen semi-regular playing time in each of the past three. While he’s not a particularly productive bat (career .239/.295/.313 batting line), Sogard is an excellent defensive second baseman that can also handle both shortstop and third base. He’s controllable through the 2017 season via the arbitration process, although with a $1.5MM salary in 2016, he could potentially arise as a non-tender candidate depending on the severity of his injury and/or the extent to which his bat can improve following a pair of difficult years at the plate.