The Toronto Blue Jays present their own unique set of challenges. Any team heading to Canada can only bring their vaccinated players, potentially causing a severe competitive disadvantage. With the Oakland A’s heading to Toronto for the weekend, it was a chance to know who would not be able to make the trip due to their vaccination status.
As it turns out, the A’s have three players that may be unvaccinated. A.J. Puk, Austin Allen, and Kirby Snead were unable to make the trip and were put on the restricted list. Additionally, Stephen Piscotty was placed on the COVID part of the Injured List, leaving plenty of holes on the roster.
Oakland A’s trek to Toronto unmasks unvaccinated
Fortunately for the A’s, this is just a three game set. Once their trek to Toronto is over, they will not have to worry about playing in Canada again this season, unless they were to somehow face off against the Blue Jays in a postseason matchup.
It is, however, a disadvantage for a team that has surprised in the early going. Puk is starting to emerge as a key part of the A’s bullpen, picking up his first hold of the year on Thursday and quickly working his way into higher leverage situations. Allen had gotten into two games as Sean Murphy’s backup, and Snead had been one of the A’s more active relievers as he was tied for the team lead in appearances heading into Friday’s action.
The losses in the bullpen could make a difference. As the A’s look to return home with a surprising split of their ten game road trip to start the season, Puk and Snead could have made a difference. This has already been a more successful start to the season than one could have imagined, but returning home with a .500 record after starting the year against three teams with postseason aspirations would be a tremendous confidence boost.
The Oakland A’s were unable to bring three of their players to Toronto due to vaccination status. That could make a major difference in the series.