The Athletics will place utilityman Chad Pinder on the 10-day DL due to a hyperextended left knee, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. In a corresponding move, Oakland will also call up one of their top prospects, infielder Franklin Barreto.
Pinder suffered the injury during Thursday’s game and, while it wasn’t serious enough for him to leave the field that night, the A’s decided to be cautious after Pinder’s pregame workout yesterday. Oakland has two off-days next week but also a two-game interleague series against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, so the extra bench depth was required for the extra substitutions often necessary in NL games.
This will be Barreto’s third visit to the big leagues after a brief stint with the A’s last summer and another call-up in September once the rosters expanded. The 22-year-old didn’t show much at the plate, posting just a .602 OPS over 76 plate appearances, though he did perform much better (.290/.339/.456) over 510 PA for Triple-A Nashville in his first extended taste of Triple-A pitching. Barreto has been a staple of top-100 prospect lists for several years, including high grades from Baseball America (which ranked him as the 43rd best minor leaguer in the sport), Baseball Prospectus (63rd) and MLB.com (66th) prior to this season.
Depending on how long Pinder is out, this could end up being another relatively brief call-up for Barreto, as the A’s obviously want to see him playing every day in the minors rather than only receiving sparing playing time as a big league bench player. (Service time considerations are also surely a factor for the organization.) Marcus Semien and Jed Lowrie are still locked in as Oakland’s regular middle infield combo, plus Matt Chapman has quickly become a fixture at third base, not that Barreto has ever played the hot corner. Barreto does seem in line for some work, however, as he is currently the only backup infield option on Oakland’s 25-man roster.