OAKLAND -- The A’s are starting to run low on outfielders.
Chad Pinder was removed from Sunday’s 9-2 loss to the Astros with a left knee sprain after he crashed into the padded right-field wall while completing an impressive leaping catch for the first out of the game. Though Pinder finished the inning on defense, the right fielder consulted with the A’s training staff when he returned to the dugout and was replaced by Stephen Piscotty when his spot in the batting order came up in the bottom of the first.
Pinder is scheduled to have an MRI exam on Monday.
The A’s already entered Sunday’s contest without center fielder Ramón Laureano, who is dealing with a jammed left wrist that was the result of a diving attempt to reach first base on a groundout in Friday’s loss to Houston. During a Zoom call with reporters on Sunday morning, A’s manager Bob Melvin was optimistic about Laureano’s chances to return at some point during the team’s upcoming three-game series against the Dodgers, which begins Monday at the Coliseum.
An extended absence for Pinder would not be ideal for the A’s. He’s been one of the few bright spots in a their sluggish 0-4 start to the season, having made two highlight-reel plays on defense on Thursday night and crushing the A’s first home run of the season, a two-run shot to left, in Friday’s game.
Piscotty and Ka’ai Tom, who got the start in left field on Sunday, would likely split time in right field for however long Pinder is sidelined.