The Oakland Athletics have announced that they will recall infielder Kevin Smith from Triple-A Las Vegas and place outfielder Seth Brown on the 10-day injured list with a left oblique strain. Brown suffered the injury on a check-swing during Saturday’s game against the Rays and will be sidelined for an undetermined period of time.
Brown was one of the few bright spots for the A’s offense last season, hitting 25 home runs and posting a 117 wRC+ in 150 games. He was expected to be a key contributor in the middle of the order this year, but he got off to a slow start, batting .200 with one homer and a 71 wRC+ in his first eight games. His absence will create a void in left field, where he had been the primary starter.
The A’s have several options to fill in for Brown, depending on the handedness of the opposing pitcher. Conner Capel, who started in left field on Sunday, is a left-handed hitter who could platoon with right-handed Brent Rooker.
Tony Kemp and Jace Peterson, who have been playing second and third base respectively, can also play left field if needed. The A’s could also give more playing time to shortstop Nick Allen, who has impressed with his glove work and speed.
Smith, meanwhile, will join the A’s for the second time in his career. He was acquired from the Blue Jays in the trade that sent Matt Chapman to Toronto last year and played 47 games for Oakland, mostly at third base.
He struggled offensively, hitting .180 with a 43 wRC+, but he showed good defense and versatility. He was sent down to Triple-A in August and finished the season strong, hitting .333 with six homers and a 162 wRC+ in 24 games.
Smith carried that momentum into spring training this year, hitting .395 with two homers and a 1.067 OPS in 21 games. He narrowly missed making the opening day roster, as the A’s opted to keep Rooker as their final position player.
Smith continued to rake at Triple-A, hitting .300 with five homers and a 1.167 OPS in seven games. He has played mostly shortstop for Las Vegas, but he can also play third base and both corner outfield spots.
Smith will provide some depth and flexibility for the A’s infield, especially at third base, where he could form a platoon with Peterson, who has hit .182 with a 45 wRC+ so far. Smith could also spell Diaz or Allen at shortstop if needed.
Smith has shown some power and speed in his minor league career, as well as a good eye at the plate. He will look to translate those skills to the major league level and help the A’s offense, which has been one of the worst in baseball this season.
The A’s are hoping that Brown’s injury is not too serious and that he can return to his 2022 form soon. In the meantime, they will rely on Smith and others to step up and fill the gap.
The A’s are off to a rough start this season, having lost six of their first nine games and being swept by the Rays over the weekend. They will try to bounce back in their next series against the Orioles, which starts on Monday in Baltimore.
Final Thoughts: Seth Brown’s Injury and Kevin Smith’s Call-Up
The Oakland Athletics’ announcement of outfielder Seth Brown’s injury and infielder Kevin Smith’s call-up is significant news for the team. Brown’s injury, suffered during Saturday’s game against the Rays, is unfortunate for the A’s, as he was expected to be a key contributor to the offense this season. Brown’s absence creates a void in left field, and the team will have to rely on several players to fill in.
The A’s have several options to replace Brown, including Conner Capel, Brent Rooker, Tony Kemp, Jace Peterson, and Nick Allen. Depending on the opposing pitcher’s handedness, the A’s can use a platoon with Capel and Rooker or give more playing time to Kemp, Peterson, or Allen. The A’s will have to experiment with these options and see which ones work best.
On the other hand, Kevin Smith’s call-up provides the A’s with some depth and flexibility in the infield. Smith has played mostly shortstop for Triple-A Las Vegas, but he can also play third base and both corner outfield spots.
Smith struggled offensively in his previous stint with the A’s, but he finished strong last season and carried that momentum into spring training and the minor leagues this year. He could form a platoon with Peterson at third base or provide some rest for Elvis Andrus or Nick Allen at shortstop.
Overall, the A’s are hoping that Brown’s injury is not too serious and that he can return to his 2022 form soon. The team will have to rely on its depth and versatility to fill the gap left by Brown’s absence.
The A’s are off to a rough start this season, having lost six of their first nine games and being swept by the Rays over the weekend. The upcoming series against the Orioles presents an opportunity for the A’s to bounce back and turn their season around.