2:55pm: Martin Gallegos of MLB.com relays word from the A’s training staff that this injury is the result of Laureano getting hit by a pitch in Milwaukee earlier this month. The slide in Tampa injured his left hand, not his right. The A’s were in Milwaukee June 9 to 11, so Laureano has apparently been battling this injury for two weeks already.
2:40pm: The Athletics announced today that outfielder Ramón Laureano has been placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to June 22, with a fractured right hand. Outfielder Conner Capel has been recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas in a corresponding move.
Laureano has been dealing with a hand issue for over a week now. It was on June 14 that he appeared to injure his fingers on a slide into third base in a game against the Rays. He’s been in and out of the lineup since then but will now get a lengthier absence of over a week. It’s unclear whether the initial injury simply hasn’t healed or if he reaggravated it.
The outfielder had spent many years as a solid two-way player for Oakland until receiving an 80-game suspension in August of 2021 after testing positive for Nandrolone, a banned performance-enhancing substance. Prior to that suspension, he hit .263/.335/.465 for a wRC+ of 119 in 313 career games while also stealing 34 bases and earning plaudits for his glovework.
He returned last year but hasn’t been able to get back to that level of performance. He’s hit .212/.282/.370 since being reinstated for a wRC+ of 90, though the other portions of his game are still solid. He’s swiped 19 bags since then and, though he’s been largely bumped from center to right field, is still considered a strong defender.
The loss of Laureano won’t mean too much to the A’s in the short term as their 19-58 record is the worst in all of baseball. However, it’s potentially significant for the upcoming trade deadline. The Athletics are one of very few clubs that make for obvious sellers this year, with the expanded playoffs and weak Central divisions giving most clubs some kind of plausible shot at a postseason run. The A’s have already traded away most of their veterans and the roster is now filled with younger players they are hoping to build around.
Laureano will turn 29 next month and has already reached arbitration on a struggling team, making him one of the few straightforward trade candidates this summer. His offensive slide wouldn’t have given him much value but his speed and defense at least give him a solid floor as a bench piece that could garner interest around the league. He’ll now have to recuperate from this hand injury with just over five weeks until the August 1 deadline.