Athletics first baseman Matt Olson has undergone hand surgery, per a club announcement. The procedure “involved a right hamate excision,” according to the team.
Olson’s timeline to return to competitive action is not yet clear, though there are plenty of comparable situations to look to for precedent. Hamate removals are rather common for hitters; the typical prognosis is a return within six to eight weeks, though that’s only a general expectation.
Soon to turn 25, Olson was looking to follow up on a strong first full season of MLB action. He played in all 162 games in 2018, slashing .247/.335/.435 (117 wRC+) and swatting 29 long balls in 660 plate appearances.
Instead, he’ll be sidelined for a decent chunk of the early action. While it seems reasonable to hope he’ll be at full health for most of the season, hamate procedures are generally associated with some reduced power for a time once a player returns to action.
It’s not clear just yet how the A’s will fill in while Olson is sidelined. Mark Canha is the only other player on the 40-man roster with extensive experience at first base. Old friend Danny Valencia is still on the open market, as is Logan Morrison, if thought is given to outside additions. The organization may also look at players that are just now being made available by other organizations.