April 10: The A’s made it official today, recalled Smith and placing Brown on the 10-day IL with a strained left oblique.
April 9: Oakland outfielder Seth Brown is headed for the injured list with an oblique issue, according to Martin Gallegos of MLB.com. Brown was unavailable during today’s game against the Rays after feeling discomfort during a check-swing in last night’s game, and it appears the issue is serious enough to warrant an IL-stint, though no details regarding Brown’s timetable for return have been revealed. Gallegos also reports that infielder Kevin Smith is set to join the club in Baltimore, presumably to replace Brown on the active roster.
Brown, who is entering his age-30 season in 2023, was the best hitter in the A’s lineup last season who returned this season as he posted a 25 homer season while slashing .230/.305/.444 in 150 games last year, good for a wRC+ of 117. Only Sean Murphy, who the A’s traded to the Braves in a three-team deal with the Brewers over the offseason, had a better year in terms of wRC+ among A’s regulars. Though he still has three seasons of team control left prior to free agency after 2023, Brown entered the year as a plausible trade candidate for the A’s come July due to his age and the club being in the midst of a rebuild that saw the likes of Murphy, AJ Puk, and Cole Irvin traded this past offseason.
Brown hits the injured list without having gotten going at the plate, having posted a wRC+ of just 71 in his first eight games this season, but with strikeout and walk rates roughly in line with last season and a deflated .238 BABIP, there was plenty of reason for optimism that his production would return to 2022 levels with a larger sample size. Those hopes will have to be put on hold for now, however, though it’s currently unclear if Brown will require only the minimum stay on the IL or miss a longer period.
That leaves the A’s likely to turn to Smith, who struggled mightily in 47 games at the big league level with Oakland last season, slashing just .180/.216/.302 in 151 plate appearances. That being said, Smith has a career .817 OPS in the minor leagues and, at 26 years old, could still put it together at the major league level. Acquired from the Blue Jays in the trade that sent Matt Chapman to Toronto, Smith provides the A’s with a great deal of versatility off the bench, as he has experience at all four infield spots in addition to the outfield corners.
Any time missed by Brown will likely stand to benefit outfielders Brent Rooker and Conner Capel, each of whom have drawn a start at Brown’s usual spot in left field over the past two games. It’s also possible that an infielder, like Tony Kemp, could move to left, allowing shortstop Nick Allen to get extra at-bats in the infield.
Time for Kevin to step up helping the young A’s…
Smith was quite literally one of THE best hitters in all the minors the last month of 2022. Something like a 1.400 OPS. He also was doing great in Spring Training and has 5 HRs in 30 ABs in AAA this year.
This is his chance to show whether he’s a AAAA hitter or has something more in the tank. Really hoping he can translate some of that momentum over to this MLB stint. I think if you took MiLB+MLB stats from the last month of 2022 through today, he might be one of the top 5 hitters.
That’s a nice way to finesse Kevin Smith putting up the 24th best OPS on the Las Vegas Aviators last year (7th out of the 9 players who got 250 ABs). You should be his agent.
I mean go look it up, he literally had one of the best 30 game stretches of anyone mlb or MiLB the end of last year. I’d place money on him being a AAAA hitter, cause he stunk in his MLB debuts and then was bad in AAA for awhile.
The A’s need a jolt after those outright soul crushers in St. Pete. Good move. Hopefully it juices the team a little.
Does anyone remember Seth smith?
I remember many a Hyundai Sunday
Does anyone remember Matt Olson?
Matt Chapman is absolutely crushing it for Toronto. But thank goodness A’s have Kevin Smith and Gunnar damaged goods Hoglund.
Matt Chapman hit 229 with an OPS of .757 in his first year as a Jay, the trade return for him was the lightest because he often looks overmatched at the plate.
A’s are going for all time worse record. Fisher want to make sure not even 1000 A’s fans show up to a game.
Why is Kemp or Diaz or Petersen or Aguilar playing at all?
It makes no sense to me to play them and win 5-10 more games.
You should just start Kevin Smith and Allen and Jonah Bride.
It’s not like winning a few more games makes any difference when you’re talking about losing 90 games instead of 103.
The A’s franchise is a disgrace and owned by a complete disgrace of a human being.
I think, so far at least, the returns from their trades haven’t been great. It’s still early, but the front office hasn’t done a good job of scouting prospects. I watched their 11-0 loss to Tampa. Lord that was tough to watch, if they keep playing this brand of baseball they’re easily going to lose more than 100 games.
Back to BACK 11-0 losses…and yeah brutal. This has been as close to an actual Major League movie situation as I have seen in my life. 90? The team on the field has historic loss potential as is. They’re looking a lot like the late 90s-00s Detroit Tigers.
It is Major League the movie. Fisher wants that super low attendance just to go “See? Oakland doesn’t want baseball that’s why we want to move to Las Vegas.”
Fisher is a villain.
I feel sorry for the guy. His name is going to be forever remembered negatively.
That’s sad for him.
Spending 2M a week on the Terminal Site right now. They have encouragement from MLB to seek any stadium at this point. Just passed an environmental impact suit hurdle. But it’s at the point where whoever comes up first gets the A’s. Las Vegas is probably good near term, but I question the viability of that market trying to sell 81 home games…nothing else around. A lot like Phoenix where people are transplants. PLENTY of night entertainment options for tourists. It might beat Oakland immediately. But I have to beluev3 their holding on in Oakland for a reason. I just hope if they do move the franchise they don’t rebrand and rename. Franchise has had two previous locations…same name. Unique color scheme. Who knows. Something must give.
Their attendance numbers in Vegas would probably be fine but the TV market is awful, it’s a very low population density region.
Several of the owners spoke out about Fisher getting back into revenue sharing as part of the MLBPA deal. It’s highly unlikely they’d ever want to set a standard for regulating unrestricted greed but one can dream…
One reported stadium site is right on the Vegas Strip. Everything has to be retractable dome. What I see is the same issue the Diamondbacks have always had on Phoenix, perhaps bolstered by tourism. But we’ll see. That TV market really is zilch. But with MLBTV blacking out everyone locally…many have found teams at distance. It’s kinda wild how many Blue Jay’s fans have sprung up over the years all over.
But Las Vegas isn’t a surefire longterm winner. I question the service based economy. There’s truly no “that place must have a team” place left. A study conducted probably a decade ago stated the best options were either a 3rd team on the NY/NJ and LA market, and Montreal. But I’m curious if baseball wouldn’t rather expand than relocate.
I do think Montreal can be viable, and it’s a linked jump to that European market they cherish. We’ll see. The fact they’ve held out this long makes me think they’re really pushing on Oakland. Just need out of the Coliseum Site.
The Montas trade has been pretty good so far and that’s with Medina struggling in the minors.
The problem with any A’s hitter that is called up – you have the gauge their numbers by the Las Vegas park. Largely inflated numbers. Pitchers are not going to thrive there, either. And the A’s have an internal philosophy that players are what they are and can’t learn so why bother to teach? Good example is Max Muncy. A’s knew his issues, knew how to fix them but did nothing. The DFA’d him. He took an off season to rework his swing and he’s been roughly a 4+ WAR a season player since.