Can Injuries Actually Help the Oakland Athletics?

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The Oakland Athletics have received some bad news on the injury front this week, with Nate Freiman, Stephen Vogt, and now Josh Reddick all set to miss some time. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Vogt should see his first playing time of the spring over the weekend after tweaking his surgically repaired ankle in an intrasquad game earlier in the week. Freiman has been experiencing some back soreness, but will likely be ready for opening day. Reddick, per Slusser, suffered a mild oblique strain during defensive drills on Friday, but he believes he’ll be back within four to five days.

The timeline may be a short one for Vogt and Reddick, but as we saw on Friday afternoon, Mark Canha and Josh Phegley made the most of their opportunities to shine. While Canha was the Oakland Athletics DH, he is a potential left field candidate as well, with Craig Gentry sliding to right as he did on Friday.

On Friday, Canha went 2-for-3 with a walk and three runs scored. The man that brought him home each time was Phegley, who went 3-for-4 with three rbi and two runs. Both men were under-the-radar acquisitions that should be on the opening day roster, while neither has been thought of as the “main guy” at their position. With performances like the ones both players put forth on Friday, they are giving fans hope.

In Slusser’s piece, Bob Melvin said of Phegley following the game, “He had a very active day. He got tested on the bases, made some good throws, made one bad one, but he can throw. Really receiving the ball well, doing some things we’re taking note of. All the reports we heard, the reasons we got him, are showing up right now.”

Obviously this is only one game, but these are two players that have arguably just needed a chance at the major league level. Coming to Oakland, and having the players above them on the depth chart miss a couple of games early in the spring may be the way that Canha and Phegley work their way into bigger roles as the season draws closer. 

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