UPDATE: The Rockies don’t know what to do to fix the finger injury, but they have decided to get Gonzalez out of the way while they try to figure it out: they placed him on the disabled list.
10:15 AM: Carlos Gonzalez has spent most of the season playing through chronic knee problems, but now the Rockies outfielder is also dealing with a finger injury that may require a disabled list stint.
Gonzalez has been forced to miss four games and leave three other games early due to a broken blood vessel in his left index finger that has caused swelling. And according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com, after visiting with a hand specialist in Cleveland recently Gonzalez was told that “not only was there no surgical answer, but it’s not even clear how much rest will allow the injury to repair.”
Rockies manager Walt Weiss suggested that a trip to the disabled list may be necessary simply because the team can’t afford to keep removing him from the lineup and from the field mid-game. His performance has also suffered significantly. Gonzalez came into this season as a career .307 hitter with a .920 OPS in five years with the Rockies, but now he’s hitting just .255 with a .756 OPS in 52 games and is 2-for-22 with nine strikeouts since aggravating the injury.
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The Rays lost 4-1 to the Yankees on Monday night, which clinched a postseason berth for the Athletics just as they began their own game against the Mariners. For the 94-62 A’s, it’s their first postseason appearance since 2014 when they lost the AL Wild Card game to the Royals.
Major League Baseball celebrated the Athletics’ achievement by tweeting this fact: The A’s are the first team since 1988 to make the postseason with baseball’s lowest Opening Day payroll ($66 million).
John J. Fisher, who has owned the A’s since 2005, has a net worth approaching $3 billion. The Athletics franchise is valued at over $1 billion. Yet the A’s have never had an Opening Day payroll at $90 million or above and have consistently been among the teams with the lowest payrolls. The cultural shift towards embracing analytics has allowed the A’s to get away with investing as little money as possible into the team. Moneyball helped change baseball’s zeitgeist such that many began to fetishize doing things on the cheap and now the league itself is embracing it.
What the fact MLB tweeted says is actually this: John J. Fisher was able to save a few bucks this year and the A’s still somehow made it to the postseason.
The Athletics’ success is due to a whole host of players, but particularly youngsters Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Lou Trivino, among others. All are pre-arbitration aside from Manaea. When it comes time to pay them something approaching what they’re actually worth, will the A’s reward them for their contributions or will they do what they’ve always done and cut bait? After reaching the postseason in 2014, the A’s traded away Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Jeff Samardzija, and John Jaso. Each was a big influence on the club’s success. Athletics fans should be happy their favorite team has reached the postseason, but if the team’s history is any precedent, they shouldn’t get attached to any of the players. Is that really something Major League Baseball should be advocating?