Athletics first baseman Matt Olson underwent a right hamate excision in Los Angeles on Friday, per an official announcement. The club has not yet placed him on the injured list, though it’s all but expected that he’ll miss significant time in recovery.
The soon-to-be 25-year-old infielder suffered the injury during the fifth inning of a 5-4 loss to the Mariners on Thursday, when he felt some pain in his hand after fouling off a pitch from Seattle southpaw Yusei Kikuchi. He finished out his at-bat with a single to right field and was brought home to score by Marcus Semien‘s RBI base hit later in the inning. Mark Canha subbed in for Olson at the top of the sixth inning.
It’s an unfortunate turn of events for Olson and the A’s as they return to the United States for their first home games next week. Olson is coming off of some career-best totals in 2018, for which he earned his first Gold Glove Award after slashing .247/.335/.453 with 29 home runs, a .788 OPS, and 3.4 fWAR across 660 plate appearances. A date has not been set for his return to the lineup.
With just over a week left in the regular season, the Diamondbacks have elected to shut down infielder/outfielder Ketel Marte. Marte has been dealing with some lower back inflammation and stiffness over the last few days; on Friday, the team revealed that he was diagnosed with a stress reaction as well.
It doesn’t look as though the injury will compromise Marte’s 2020 campaign, but as Craig noted on Wednesday, his absence will likely have some effect on his NL MVP candidacy. The 25-year-old will wrap his first All-Star season with a .329/.389/.592 batting line, 32 home runs, a .981 OPS, and a staggering, career-best 7.1 fWAR through 628 plate appearances.
Marte told reporters Thursday that the back pain had been an issue “for the past two months,” though he didn’t comment on the severity of the injury. Despite his ability to play through the pain since July, the issue has clearly escalated in the last week or so. Although the loss of their most valuable contributor may have a negative impact on the D-backs’ chances of competing in the postseason, it’s undeniably a wise move to let Marte recuperate rather than pushing him to play for another week and running the risk of further injury.
Entering Friday’s series against the Padres — their last road series of the regular season — Arizona still has a sizable gap to close in order to earn one of two NL wild card spots. They’re five games out of postseason contention, with the Nationals, Brewers, Cubs, Mets, and Phillies ahead of them.