The idea that Stephen Piscotty would be a desperately needed part of the Oakland A’s lineup would have been laughable at the start of the season. After all, he had struggled since the beginning of the 2019 season during those times when he had been able to remain on the diamond. At best, the A’s had to hope that he would be useful enough that he could be traded at the deadline.
He had actually been reasonably useful when he has been on the diamond. Piscotty’s .225/.340/.325 batting line in 47 plate appearances comes out to a 99 OPS+, just a tick below league average. As Piscotty had combined for an 86 OPS+ over the previous three seasons, that is a marked improvement.
Oakland A’s hoping for hot month from Stephen Piscotty
He may also be on the way back soon. Piscotty is set to run the bases on Friday, the next step as he continues getting back to baseball activities. If that goes well, he could start a rehab assignment shortly thereafter with an eye towards returning by the end of June.
Piscotty’s return would be beneficial twofold. First, he would be an upgrade in the lineup, words that would not have been expected at the end of last year. However, the A’s also did not expect to have a team OPS+ of 79 at the end of last year either, leaving Piscotty as a better option that the majority of what they have sent out onto the diamond.
Second, a strong month could result in a trade. Even if the A’s were to get back Max Scherzer’s toenail clippings or a used piece of dental floss, it would be considered a victory. After all, they would avoid having to pay several million to Piscotty, causing John Fisher’s bank account to be even larger. That is the true goal for this year.
But this is all contingent upon Piscotty and his performance over the next few weeks. He not only has to show that he can help a team somewhere but that he can stay healthy. Neither of those are a given.
Stephen Piscotty is set to take the next step in his return from his calf injury on Friday. With any luck, he could be back by the end of the month.