MESA, Ariz. -- A's star third baseman Matt Chapman will be slowed by ongoing rehab this spring, but don't count him out from the club's March 20 regular-season opener against the Mariners in Tokyo."I know I'll be ready by the season," Chapman said Sunday.:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping
MESA, Ariz. -- A's star third baseman Matt Chapman will be slowed by ongoing rehab this spring, but don't count him out from the club's March 20 regular-season opener against the Mariners in Tokyo.
"I know I'll be ready by the season," Chapman said Sunday.
:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::
The Platinum Glove Award-winning infielder succumbed to two minor operations this winter; he had surgery on his right thumb in October, then underwent a procedure to alleviate issues with the AC joint in his left shoulder in December.
Chapman is still recovering from the latter and, like last spring, when he was bothered by his thumb, won't appear in preseason games right away. His thumb has since been fixed by the surgery, but his shoulder is still limiting his activity. Chapman is already taking grounders and throwing, but he remains on a swinging progression and hopes to start hitting overhand tosses next week.
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"It's hard to say when everything is going to be full-go," he said, "but working every day to get better. All depends on how everything from here on out goes, but the way it's looking I'll be not too far behind everyone else.
"I'm kinda putting myself back together this offseason. Not exactly how you'd draw it up."
Chapman, 25, said his shoulder periodically bothered him last season, but he assumed it was an ailment that could be alleviated simply by rest, which is why he waited until the end of the year to have it checked out.
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"In a perfect world, I would have said something right off the bat," he said. "I just figured it was from the long season and it would get better. I knew I was having thumb surgery, so I figured once I had that and rested and started working out, everything would be good again.
"Obviously it's not ideal to get two surgeries or start Spring Training a little late, games-wise, but luckily I can use this time to get strong and get myself prepared and be able to get the at-bats I need and be ready for the year."
Chapman's thumb issue cost him a couple of weeks in 2018, yet he still managed to play in 145 games and collect 24 home runs. He finished seventh in the American League Most Valuable Player vote, hitting .278 with an .864 OPS and a Major League-leading 29 defensive runs saved for this 97-win team.
"We're definitely excited to pick up where we left off and keep getting better, because we've got a really good core group of guys and we keep bringing in good players, and I think we're all on the same page," Chapman said. "Now people know we can play, and we need to keep doing what we've been doing."
Chapman was sporting a pencil-thin mustache upon reporting for his physical Sunday, similar to the barely there hair seen on his face at times last year.
"This is the first time I've really been able to grow some facial hair, so I'm wearing it proud," he said. I'm gonna rock what I've got."
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.