Twins outfielder (and sometimes designated hitter) Jason Kubel has been on the 15-day disabled list since the end of May with a sprained left foot.
He began a minor league rehab assignment earlier this week and was hoping to return to the Minnesota starting lineup in a matter of days, but that plan is going to have to be put on a bit of a delay.
According to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Kubel was lifted from a rehab game Thursday at High-A Fort Myers after tweaking his left foot while chasing after a ball. It’s not a serious setback, and the 29-year-old is going to attempt to resume his rehab assignment on Friday night.
“I knew I was going to have to play through a little pain,’’ Kubel said in a phone interview with the Star-Tribune, “but it was a little bit more than just a little. So I didn’t want to keep going like that. Just a little setback.”
Kubel, 29, was batting .310/.355/.465 with five home runs and 30 RBI in 217 plate appearances before suffering the left foot injury. The Twins, still 11 games under .500, sure could use that offense right now.
The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.
Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:
Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:
In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.
The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.
The Athletics called up their top prospect on Saturday, inserting shortstop Franklin Barreto into the lineup for their second game against the White Sox. Barreto was originally scheduled to make his major league debut on Sunday, but got a head start after Jed Lowrie sustained a minor knee sprain in Friday’s 3-0 win and was scratched from Saturday’s lineup.
Barreto, 21, has been rapidly climbing the rungs of the A’s minor league system after getting dealt by the Blue Jays in 2014. He got his first taste of Triple-A action late last year, going 6-for-17 with three RBI and getting caught stealing in two attempts. He fared little better this spring, slashing .281/.326/.428 with eight home runs and a .754 OPS through his first 309 PA in Nashville.
While his minor league production has been solid, if underwhelming for a prospect of his caliber, the A’s are expected to give the rookie infielder a long leash with both Marcus Semien and Chad Pinder sitting on the disabled list. Pinder landed on the 10-day DL after suffering a left hamstring strain on Friday. Semien, meanwhile, is still working his way back from the 60-day DL with a right wrist fracture and likely won’t rejoin the team until he completes a rehab assignment with High-A Stockton.