MINNEAPOLIS – Matt Chapman was out of Oakland’s lineup Thursday for the series opener against the Twins, but the All-Star third baseman said he believes he will play Friday.
“It’s just precautionary,” Chapman said, a day after exiting in the third inning with left ankle soreness. “Take a day so I don’t have to take a bunch of days.”
Chapman called the injury, which is on the outer part of the ankle, “just a little tweak,” and he isn’t sure if the injury had anything to do with a minor collision with Chad Pinder in short left field Tuesday. “It’s probably a combination of things,” he said, adding that the collision “probably didn’t help, but just playing every day and playing hard and the All-Star break, I didn’t get much of a break. So could be a bunch of things stacking up on it.”
Manager Bob Melvin wasn’t willing to guarantee that Chapman will be in the lineup Friday. The A’s are in a stretch in which they play 13 consecutive games and they are on a key road trip, with four games at division-leading Minnesota and then, even more important, three at AL-West leading Houston.
“Obviously, we want this to calm down,” Melvin said. “This is the first stretch in a while where we play quite a few games in a row and we want to make sure we get him out there one day and don’t have to sit him the next.”
Photo: Jason Miller / Getty Images
Image 1 1
Chapman, the reigning American League Platinum Glove winner, is batting .362 with 11 doubles, six homers and 23 RBIs over his past 27 games and he is in the top 10 of the league almost every offensive category.
Rested pen: One of the secondary advantages of the way the A’s blasted out of the gate in the second half – entering Thursday, the team was 5-0 and had outscored its opponents 40-9 – is that the bullpen was at full capacity going into the four-game series at Minnesota.
“Basically, everybody’s available,” Melvin said. “In a stretch of five games in row, there are usually a couple of guys down in the bullpen, that’s not the case for us.”
Wei-Chung Wang and Ryan Buchter didn’t even pitch on the homestand, but Melvin expects that to change, saying, “The teams coming up have quite a few lefties so they’re going to get quite a bit of work, especially in this series.”
Susan Slusser is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: email@example.com
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/athletics/article/Ankle-sidelines-A-s-Matt-Chapman-he-hopes-to-14106830.php.