Some items from Oakland…
- Khris Davis has been hampered by a left hip contusion, though manager Bob Melvin told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle and other reporters that the team hopes to have Davis back in the lineup for Friday’s game. Davis suffered the injury crashing into the wall to make a catch in foul territory on Sunday, which necessitated an early removal from the game. He attempted to return on Wednesday, though was removed in the fifth inning once his hip again caused discomfort. While this abbreviated appearance means an IL stint couldn’t be backdated three more days, it doesn’t yet appear as though the problem is serious enough for Davis to miss much more time.
- Mark Canha is slated to begin a minor league rehab assignment on Friday and is expected to be activated from the injured list next week. (MLB.com’s Martin Gallegos was among those who reported the news.) A sprained right wrist sidelined Canha on April 29, though he’ll likely end up missing only slightly beyond the minimum 10 days. Canha was off to a solid start prior to the injury, hitting .200/.377/.375 over his first 53 plate appearances of the season. As Gallegos notes, Canha’s return could mean the end for Kendrys Morales on the Oakland roster, as Davis’ health issues may have given Morales only a brief respite now that Matt Olson is back from the IL.
- Pitching is the main focus of Slusser’s latest fan mailbag piece in the Chronicle, as the A’s continue to deal with uncertainty in both their rotation and bullpen. Slusser figures the A’s will look to add a reliever or two if the team is in contention at the trade deadline, though in terms of in-house names, Oakland isn’t likely to part ways with Fernando Rodney any time soon. Four of Rodney’s 15 appearances this season have resulted in multiple runs allowed, including an ugly outing on Sunday that saw him allow four runs in just a third of an inning in a walkoff loss to the Pirates. Rodney has an 8.78 ERA and a 6.1 BB/9 over 13 1/3 innings for the Athletics this season, though Slusser says the A’s will give Rodney time to get back on track in lower-leverage situations.
- Sonny Gray took the mound for the Reds against the A’s on Wednesday, leading The Athletic’s Julian McWilliams (subscription required) to look back on the trade that sent Gray from Oakland to the Yankees back in July 2017. Specifically, the piece looks at Jorge Mateo, who is off to a .340/.378/.578 start in 156 Triple-A plate appearances after struggling at the Triple-A level in 2018. That lost year knocked back from his previous status as a top-100 prospect in baseball, though it might have ended up being something of a needed “wake-up call” for Mateo, McWilliams writes, as scouts had questioned Mateo’s effort level and focus. “At some point in time he’s going to be in the big leagues, whether it’s this year or next year. He’s a really talented kid,” Melvin said. Mateo has played exclusively at shortstop and second base over the last two seasons, potentially tabbing him as a replacement for Marcus Semien (who is scheduled for free agency following the 2020 season).