6:48pm: Laureano will miss at least four weeks, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. The club recalled Martini to take his spot.
1:26am: Athletics center fielder Ramon Laureano is heading to the injured list with a stress reaction in his shin, Martin Gallegos of MLB.com reports (Twitter links). Laureano will miss more than 10 days, but there isn’t an exact timetable for his return, according to manager Bob Melvin.
An extended absence for Laureano would be an unwelcome development for the Athletics, who have seen the 25-year-old blossom into a premier center fielder since he debuted last season. Laureano, whom the A’s acquired from the division-rival Astros a few months before the 2018 campaign began, has already posted 5.2 fWAR in 595 major league plate appearances.
He’s known as “Lazor Ramon” for his rocket arm in center, but most of Laureano’s value has come from his offense. He has totaled 3.1 fWAR through 419 PA this season on the strength of a .284/.334/.518 line (good for a 123 wRC+) with 21 home runs and 12 steals in 14 attempts. That’s not the type of production the playoff-contending A’s will be able to replace, especially considering Laureano has been almost their exclusive choice in center this season. Mark Canha, another underrated Athletic, has filled in for Laureano on rare off nights and looks likely to do so during his IL stint.
Oakland’s now down two regular outfielders – Stephen Piscotty has been on the IL with a knee injury for a month – leaving it with Canha, Robbie Grossman, Chad Pinder and DH Khris Davis as its top 25-man choices. The club also has a pair of healthy 40-man options in Dustin Fowler and Nick Martini at the Triple-A level. One of those two could come up to fill Laureano’s roster spot.