Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman left today’s game due to a right hip strain, as manager Bob Melvin later told reporters (including Shayna Rubin of the Mercury News and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle). Chapman will undergo an MRI to determine the extent of the problem, which apparently has been something of a recurring problem for the star third baseman. Melvin said Chapman re-aggravated the injury while fielding a grounder in the fourth inning, which led to Chad Pinder taking over third base in the following frame.
More will be known once the MRI results are in, though even a brief trip to the injured list would be a setback for both Chapman and an Oakland team that is fighting for both first place in the AL West and the top overall seed in the American League’s playoff bracket. The A’s are looking like strong bets to make the postseason, though naturally they want Chapman healthy and ready to roll for a potential World Series bid.
A lingering hip problem could explain Chapman’s recent 0-for-11 slump (with 10 strikeouts), as well as the somewhat unusual form of his numbers this season. Chapman has a .232/.276/.535 slash line and 10 homers over 142 plate appearances, hitting with more power and with harder contact than ever before, but at the cost of OBP and contact in general — Chapman’s 34.7% strikeout rate is well above the 23.9% number he owned prior to the 2020 season. Defensively, Chapman also hasn’t quite been his usual Platinum Glove self, though is still well above-average in the field with a +9.7 UZR/150 and +2 Defensive Runs Saved.