Oakland A’s third baseman Matt Chapman is coming along nicely after his surgery, and should be ready to go for spring training.
One of the biggest concerns for the Oakland A’s heading into 2021 is the status of Matt Chapman. A star at the hot corner, Chapman missed the latter part of the 2021 season due to a torn hip labrum that required surgery. While the hope was that he would be ready for spring training, there was no guarantee that would happen, or that he would be at full strength.
Fortunately, those concerns appear to be unfounded. According to manager Bob Melvin, Chapman is “full speed ahead” and will be ready to go once spring training begins.
This is certainly welcome news for the A’s. They will need Chapman to be back to his normal self in the upcoming season, especially given the major turnover that is to be expected on the roster. His Gold Glove defense and powerful bat will be even more important to the lineup than they already were.
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Chapman had a down year by his standards. While his 122 OPS+ was certainly a good showing, he just was not the same player he had been over his previous three years in the majors. He produced a disappointing .232/.276/.535 batting line, hitting ten homers and nine doubles in his 152 plate appearances. The biggest concern was that he drew only eight walks while striking out 54 times, rates that are far worse than his career norms.
Those woes extended to his defense as well. A brilliant defensive third baseman and two time Platinum Glove winner, he was considered to have cost the A’s a run at the hot corner last year. He simply did not have the mobility and range that the A’s were accustomed to last year.
But the 2020 season should just be a thing of the past. Chapman is progressing as he should be, and is expected to be completely healthy for spring training. Getting the 2018 and 2019 version of Chapman back in the lineup will make a major difference for the A’s hopes during the upcoming season.
Matt Chapman should be back to form in 2021. The Oakland A’s need him to be more than ever.