Josh Willingham repeatedly said that he planned to avoid the disabled list after aggravating an Achilles’ tendon injury Friday, but he hasn’t played since and now the A’s have put him on the shelf.
Willingham hasn’t hit well in his first season with the A’s, batting just .231 with 10 homers and a .718 OPS after posting an OPS above .800 in each of the previous five seasons.
Chris Carter has been called up from Triple-A and the 24-year-old prospect’s numbers at Triple-A suggest he’s capable of replacing Willingham’s production and more, but a lingering injury would make it tough for the A’s to get decent value out of Willingham before the July 31 trading deadline.
Willingham was acquired from the Nationals in December for reliever Henry Rodriguez and outfield prospect Corey Brown, but he’s been a huge disappointment while earning $6 million.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.
Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.
Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.
A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.
The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.
As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.