Athletics' second baseman Zack Gelof dealing with abdominal injury

St. Louis Cardinals v Oakland Athletics
St. Louis Cardinals v Oakland Athletics / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

Oakland A's second baseman Zack Gelof was scratched prior to Wednesday's matchup against the Yankees due to abdominal soreness. It's the first game Gelof has missed all season, leaving JJ Bleday as the only Athletic to start every game thus far. We don't have any word on the specifics of Gelof's injury but the hope is that it won't require a trip to the IL.

Gelof has gotten off to a slow start in 2024. He's hitting .196/.260/.337 with three homers and four steals, good for a 79 wRC+. It's a far cry from his breakout last year in which he posted a 133 wRC+ in 69 games.

The 24 year old hasn't been impacting the ball as well as he did last year, and his expected stats aren't encouraging. His strikeout rate has jumped from 27.3% in 2023 to 32.7% this year. Maybe most troubling is his lack of success against offspeed stuff.

In 2024, Gelof had a whiff rate of 36.8% against off-speed pitches. This year, that number is an astronomical 53.6%. And even when he makes contact with the off-speed stuff, he isn't doing damage. He has an expected batting average of .093 on off-speed pitches, compared to last year's mark of .252.

The interesting part is that Gelof has been chasing pitches outside the zone a bit less than he did last year, but he's no longer making contact on those swings. His contact rate on pitches outside the zone was 50.3% last year. So far in 2024, that figure has plummeted to 38.8%.

He's hitting a bit worse against fastballs as well but the complete loss of ability to hit off-speed pitches does not bode well for the rest of Gelof's season. He needs to spend some time figuring out how to re-tool his approach.

Maybe the break will be good for Gelof. It's unclear at this point whether he'll need to take a few days off to rest, or if an IL trip will be necessary. At the very least, it'll give him a day to try to collect his thoughts and work to get back on track. The A's need him atop the lineup every day and any extended absence would be bad news for an already struggling Athletics' offense.