Injuries continue to mount for the Athletics, who could now face an absence for right fielder Stephen Piscotty. Per Shayna Rubin of the San Jose Mercury News, manager Bob Melvin revealed after Game 1 of yesterday’s doubleheader that Piscotty suffered a knee sprain when leaping in an attempt to rob a Jose Marmolejos home run. Piscotty will be further evaluated today, but Melvin added that Piscotty “had a pop” when he jumped. The 29-year-old Piscotty’s bat has gone cold this month, but he was one of Oakland’s best hitters in August, when he posted a .289/.323/.511 slash with five homers and five doubles on the month. His recent slump has dropped his season slash to .248/.289/.406, however. Mark Canha, who has already been spending time in right field, would likely be in line for more playing time should Piscotty require an IL stint.
A few more injury notes from around the game…
- Blue Jays righties Nate Pearson and Matt Shoemaker will throw live batting practice this week and could return to the roster before season’s end, writes Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith. Neither can be expected to build back up to a full starter’s workload at this point, however, so their likeliest roles would be shorter stints out of the ’pen. Putting Pearson in a short, multi-inning relief role or even an inning-at-a-time relief role would give Toronto a potentially formidable postseason weapon if he is indeed able to make it back from his current flexor strain. Shoemaker, meanwhile, is working back from shoulder inflammation that has sidelined him since Aug. 23.
- The Cardinals placed outfielder Austin Dean on the 10-day injured list due to a right elbow strain, per a club announcement. His injury comes just three days after returning from the Covid-19 injured list. The three games in which the 26-year-old Dean were his only appearances on the season. He went 1-for-4 with a double and three walks in that short time. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that Dean might have avoided the IL were the club not pressed for bullpen arms, so it seems there’s a chance Dean will return before season’s end. Acquired in a January trade with the Marlins, Dean hasn’t yet had the opportunity to prove himself with his new club. He’s just a .224/.274/.390 hitter in 318 MLB plate appearances, but he carries a much more robust .331/.398/.546 line in 640 plate appearances at the Triple-A level.
- Pirates righty Jameson Taillon chatted with reporters about the rehab of his second career Tommy John surgery and offered an optimistic outlook (link via MLB.com’s Adam Berry). Taillon is facing live hitters and said his elbow feels “amazing” at this point in the process. He’s worked with senior rehab coordinator A.J. Patrick, pitching coach Oscar Marin and bullpen coach Justin Meccage on what he believes to be a more mechanically sound delivery, Berry notes. Taillon acknowledged that changing the way he’s thrown since childhood is “tricky… But I came to the realization that two Tommy Johns kind of lets you know that what you’re doing isn’t working.” He also added that he’s seen his spin rate and spin efficiency increase — a reminder that pitchers are more data-focused than ever before in today’s game.
- The Pirates placed righty Kyle Crick on the 10-day injured list with a lat strain, manager Derek Shelton announced to reporters yesterday (Twitter link via Mike Persak of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). The 27-year-old missed more than a month due to shoulder and lat discomfort earlier this season as well. Crick has pitched just 5 2/3 innings in 2020, and while he’s only surrendered one earned run with seven strikeouts, he’s given up another five unearned runs on seven hits and four walks. Crick hasn’t looked right in 2020, as he’s averaged just 91.3 mph on his four-seamer — a pitch that averaged 95.4 mph in 2019 and 96.4 mph in 2018. Crick was lights-out in 2018, but he’s struggled with control issues and now a velocity dip since that time. He still carries a 3.44 ERA and 4.32 FIP with 10.4 K/9 in 115 frames since coming over from the Giants in the Andrew McCutchen deal, but there are some visible red flags at the moment. Crick is controlled through 2023 and will be arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter.