The Oakland A’s have been waiting somewhat impatiently for Chad Pinder to return. While they were not rushing him back, his presence was desperately needed on the roster, as he provided a viable backup option at shortstop. The current duo of Elvis Andrus and Vimael Machin simply have not provided enough for the A’s.
That wait is over. Pinder is back in the majors after a brief rehab stint, with Machin being optioned back to Triple-A.
Oakland A’s need Chad Pinder back and healthy
Pinder had been off to a solid start before being sidelined by a sprained knee. He had three hits, including a homer, in his ten at bats, although he also struck out five times. While the A’s missed his power potential, they definitely missed his defensive versatility as he had already appeared at both corner outfield positions before landing on the Injured List.
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His return adds a great deal of depth to the A’s bench. Pinder has played every position in the infield and outfield over his career, although he has spent most of his time at the corner outfield spots, second, and third. However, the possibility that he can play all over the diamond gives Bob Melvin plenty of options.
This also puts some pressure on Elvis Andrus to perform. He has scuffled over the start of the season, posting a .177/.224/.234 batting line in 134 plate appearances this year. While Machin did cut into his playing time somewhat, he was not a real threat to take over for Andrus at the position.
Although Pinder has not played much at short over his career, especially of late, this may change in the coming days and weeks. Andrus may see his leash get tighter in the coming days, especially as Pinder settles back in at the major league level.
Chad Pinder is back with the Oakland A’s. His return could not have come at a better time as they look to solidify their hold on the AL West.