The A’s announced a series of roster moves on Wednesday, placing slugger Khris Davis on the 10-day DL due to a strained right groin and designating right-hander Wilmer Font for assignment. In place of Davis and Font, the A’s have recalled top infield prospect Franklin Barreto and right-hander Daniel Gossett from Triple-A Nashville.
[Related: Oakland Athletics depth chart]
Oakland’s press release announcing the moves didn’t indicate a timeline for Davis’ return, though there’s no indication that his injury is especially serious or that he’s facing a prolonged absence. The 30-year-old slugger is off to a .235/.307/.497 start to the season and has swatted 13 homers in 205 trips to the plate. While his walk rate is down to 7.3 percent after last season’s career-high mark of 11.2 percent, Davis’ 25.9 percent strikeout rate is also his lowest mark since registering a 22.2 percent mark as a rookie. Davis, a free agent at season’s end, is currently on pace for a third consecutive 40-homer season despite his cavernous home park.
With Davis out of action, the A’s can turn to Mark Canha or Chad Pinder for some looks in the DH slot. Barreto’s return to Oakland could also give the team additional opportunities to give any of their primary infielders a breather by taking a day at DH, and Barreto himself could of course see some looks there as well. He’s hitting .235/.352/.445 with six homers and seven doubles in 152 Triple-A plate appearances this season. While his 13.4 percent walk rate is far and away a career-best, Barreto’s 29.6 percent strikeout rate in Triple-A is a continuation of the contact troubles he showed in Nashville last season.
As for Font, this marks the second time the hard-throwing righty has been designated for assignment in 2018. While he’s certainly an intriguing bullpen option on the heels of last season’s ridiculous 11.9 K/9 and 32.1 percent strikeout rate as a starter in the Dodgers’ system, Font has been hammered for 10 homers in just 17 big league innings en route to a 12.71 ERA between L.A. and Oakland this season. The Athletics will have a week to trade Font or try to pass him through outright waivers and send him to the minors for further refinement.