Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Smolinski to undergo shoulder surgery

Melvin says there is no timetable for 28-year-old's return
March 14, 2017

MESA, Ariz. -- The A's outfield depth took a hit Tuesday, when manager Bob Melvin announced Jake Smolinski will have surgery on his right shoulder that has been bothersome all spring.There is no timetable for Smolinski's return following the surgery, which is scheduled for Friday. Smolinski was expected to play

MESA, Ariz. -- The A's outfield depth took a hit Tuesday, when manager Bob Melvin announced Jake Smolinski will have surgery on his right shoulder that has been bothersome all spring.
There is no timetable for Smolinski's return following the surgery, which is scheduled for Friday. Smolinski was expected to play an important role for the A's this season, but the soreness in the 28-year-old's shoulder has limited him to just six at-bats this spring and no time in the outfield.
"He just hasn't responded well to the throwing portion of it," Melvin said. "It's consistently bothered him, so this is the direction we're going."
• A's Spring Training: Schedule | Information | Tickets
Smolinski is a former second-round Draft pick of the Nationals who joined the A's as a waiver claim from the Rangers in 2015. He played in 99 Major League games last season, hitting .238 with seven home runs and 27 RBIs.
He figured to have a bigger role this season as the primary backup to Rajai Davis in center field.
"He was a guy we were targeting for quite a few at-bats against left-handed pitching this year," Melvin said. "A guy we feel has a high ceiling and hasn't reached his potential yet. I still feel like he has a chance to be an everyday player at some point, but this is a setback for him."
Mark Canha will get more time in center field throughout the rest of Cactus League play, but the injury leaves converted first baseman Matt Olson and two non-roster invitees -- Alejandro De Aza and Jaff Decker -- as candidates to be the fifth outfielder at the start of the regular season. The A's also could choose to break camp with just four outfielders.
Decker is most comfortable in center field of the three and received positive reviews from Melvin. He's hit .300 (6-for-20) this spring, while De Aza was hitting .238 (5-for-21) entering Tuesday. Olson was hitting .120 (3-for-25) with two home runs and five RBIs.

Chris Gabel is a contributor to MLB.com.