Athletics move Brent Rooker to IL, bring up top prospect Max Schuemann

The A's have put Brent Rooker on the IL with a rib injury and called up infield prospect Max Schuemann
Oakland Athletics Spring Training
Oakland Athletics Spring Training / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

The Oakland Athletics have placed outfielder Brent Rooker on the 10-day IL and recalled infield prospect Max Schuemann in a corresponding move.

Rooker has apparently been diagnosed with a costochondral strain, which is a fancy way to describe an inner rib injury. I'm not a doctor but from what I can tell from a bit of quick research, these types of strains can take anywhere from 4-12 weeks to fully heal, depending on the severity of the initial injury.

Given the fact that the A's chose to put Rooker on the 10-day IL rather than the 60-day version, we can assume that Rooker's strain is on the minor side, though that doesn't mean he'll return quickly.

Rooker last appeared in a game on April 7th, and he had not been hitting well prior to his absence. He'd posted a .659 OPS and had struck out in over half of his plate appearances.

The A's had been using a variety of players in his stead, giving Abraham Toro, Ryan Noda, Tyler Nevin, and JD Davis extra work in the DH role.

Where will Schuemann play?

It's unclear at this point what manager Mark Kotsay's plan will be for Schuemann, who hit well in spring training and was on the verge of earning a roster spot out of camp.

He's not in the lineup this afternoon, though he could get an opportunity to pinch hit later in the game. With the recent addition of Nevin, there isn't a clear path to regular playing time for Schuemann outside of a utility role.

Schuemann is capable of playing all over the diamond, including second and third base, as well as the outfield corners. Nevin and Toro have bounced around the infield, and Schuemann will likely do the same.

The A's have inexplicably been playing outfielder Seth Brown every day. At his best, he's a platoon option with middling splits against right-handed pitching. He's currently hitting .139/.225/.139 with a 30% strikeout rate and no extra base hits.

Despite that, he's one of just three players on the A's who have started all 12 games in 2024. He's in today's lineup in the cleanup spot.

Brown has been a useful player for the A's, but he's a role player and Kotsay is trying to force him into an everyday spot, though it's clearly not working out. To be fair, it's not Kotsay's fault that Esteury Ruiz is in Triple-A right now, but he has to get more creative with the lineup if he wants his team to be competitive.

Adding Schuemann to the mix should help give him some additional options but it'll be up to Kotsay to make the necessary changes and try to get the most out of the lineup that he's been given.