Mark Canha has been an important piece of the Oakland A’s roster. He has emerged as their primary left fielder, with his excellent defense and strong bat being assets in the lineup. His ability to play anywhere in the outfield has been key for the A’s, particularly when Ramon Laureano was sidelined.
Now the A’s have to hope that Canha is healthy. He left Thursday’s contest after two innings due to a strained left hip that had been bothering him for some time, and will undergo an MRI on Friday to determine if anything further is wrong.
Oakland A’s hoping that Mark Canha will be fine
While Canha typically is noticed for his ability to play anywhere in the outfield, his defense in left has been superlative thus far. He had entered the season ranked as the third best left fielder in the game according to MLB.com, a ranking that was likely a surprise to everyone outside of the Bay Area.
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He is showing that his lofty preseason ranking may have actually been an understatement. Despite playing just 49 games in left, he leads American League left fielders with seven runs saved. Canha also saved a run during his time in center, and ranks fifth amongst AL outfielders in runs saved this season.
There is far more to his game than just his defense. Canha has also been a key part of the lineup with the bat, producing a .255/.375/.450 batting line in his 325 plate appearances, hitting 11 homers and 12 doubles while stealing seven bases. He also leads the AL with four triples thus far after never hitting more than three triples in any major league season.
In theory, the A’s have plenty of options to replace him in the lineup. Tony Kemp has had an excellent showing this season and could be in line to receive more time in the lineup should Canha be placed on the IL. However, the A’s will be hard pressed to replace what Canha has meant to the lineup, both offensively and defensively.
Mark Canha has been a key part of the Oakland A’s success this season. They have to hope that his hip issues will not result in a lengthy absence.