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Chapman starts baseball activity, nears rehab

A's No. 4 prospect has been out with knee infection
MLB.com

OAKLAND -- A's rookie third baseman Matt Chapman fielded grounders and took swings during batting practice Friday afternoon.

Chapman, Oakland's No. 4 prospect, per MLBPipeline.com, has been out since June 19 with a left knee infection.

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OAKLAND -- A's rookie third baseman Matt Chapman fielded grounders and took swings during batting practice Friday afternoon.

Chapman, Oakland's No. 4 prospect, per MLBPipeline.com, has been out since June 19 with a left knee infection.

View Full Game Coverage

"I'm feeling back to normal," Chapman said. "It's good to be back out on the field and see my teammates again. Seems to be coming along nicely. We're taking all the right steps to get me back on the field as soon as possible, but making sure that it's right."

Manager Bob Melvin said the plan for Chapman is to do a full complement of baseball activity again Saturday with an eye to sending him out for a short rehab assignment for a game or two.

After getting promoted from Triple-A Nashville June 15, Chapman went 3-for-14 with three RBIs as the A's swept a four-game series against the Yankees. Melvin said the rookie impressed in the series before the infection popped up.

"He made an impact right away," Melvin said. "He's one of those guys that you just feel better about when he's in the lineup. He's looking forward to getting back as well."

Chapman spent four nights in the hospital receiving treatment; he's still unsure what caused the infection. He mentioned it was a good reminder of life outside of baseball.

"Everybody thinks it's all baseball, baseball, baseball, but real things happen to people, and that's life," Chapman said. "A clean bill of health is always more important than anything. Those are the real-life situations that sometimes people forget about. Even I forget about sometimes. You just think you're out here to play, but things happen and you have to deal with it, and we did, and now we're making the steps to get back."

Worth noting

• First baseman Yonder Alonso is not in the lineup for the second straight day after fouling a ball of his right knee Wednesday. Melvin said Alonso is feeling pretty good and hopes to start Saturday.

• Right-handers Kendall Graveman (right shoulder strain) and Ryan Dull (right knee strain) threw 20-pitch bullpen sessions Friday. Melvin said both felt good and that the team will evaluate the next step for them Saturday.

• Right-hander Chris Bassitt (Tommy John surgery) will throw for Class A Advanced Stockton on another rehab assignment Sunday, aiming for around two innings and 30 pitches. After being shut down from his first rehab stint in May because of arm fatigue, Melvin reiterated that Bassitt "felt as good as he's felt."

He also added that Bassitt may be more likely to reach the Majors this year as a reliever, saying, "I think it would be a little bit more difficult to get him ready for a starting role, based on where we are in the season. The potential for the bullpen is definitely there."

Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.

Oakland Athletics, Matt Chapman