A possible answer for Stephen Piscotty’s woes at the plate
By David Hill
It is fair to say that Stephen Piscotty has been a disappointment for the Oakland A’s this season. He had a prime opportunity to prove himself as a key part of the lineup, but had been unable to produce at a respectable level. Piscotty had lost playing time, eventually being benched after the trade deadline.
But there may be a reason for Piscotty’s struggles. He is expected to undergo surgery on his troublesome left wrist after cortisone injections were unable to fully resolve the proble,
Wrist issues may have been Stephen Piscotty’s undoing in 2021
Piscotty had disappointed in 2020, but that was a difficult year to truly evaluate a player. Some of the best players in the game struggled in the COVID shortened year, while other players suddenly emerged as potential stars. As Piscotty had been above league average over his career prior to 2020, there was no reason for concern.
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That changed this year. Piscotty had struggled out of the gates, barely able to keep his batting average over .200 for the majority of the season. By the time he landed on the Injured List again, he had slumped to a .220/.282/.353 batting line with five homers and eight doubles; his 79 OPS+ only marginally better than what he had produced in the previous year.
Perhaps that wrist injury has made a difference in his production. Considering how important the wrists are when swinging a bat, and getting to pitches on the inner part of the plate, Piscotty’s ongoing problems with the wrist could explain why he has been unable to come close to his previous levels.
That is the question that the A’s will need to ask themselves heading into upcoming season. Piscotty has not performed at better than a league average level since 2018, and has done so just once in the past five years. While there have been extenuating circumstances, both personal and with his injuries, the A’s need to figure out if he can be salvaged for 2022.
Stephen Piscotty is expected to undergo surgery for his troublesome left wrist. Those issues may explain his struggles this season.