Athletics' second baseman Zack Gelof hits 10-day IL with oblique strain, Darell Hernaiz recalled

How will the Athletics handle the playing time at second base in Zack Gelof's absence?
Oakland Athletics v New York Yankees
Oakland Athletics v New York Yankees / Mike Stobe/GettyImages

The Oakland Athletics officially placed second baseman Zack Gelof on the 10-day IL retroactive to April 24. In a corresponding move, the A's called up infielder Darell Hernaiz, who will join the club for tonight's matchup in New York against the Yankees.

We dove into some of Gelof's bad luck and lack of success earlier this morning. The young infielder has had trouble chasing pitches outside the zone and hasn't been doing damage on contact. It's a bit of a disappointing start for Gelof, who came into the league on an absolute tear in the latter half of 2023.

How will the Athletics address the opening at second base in Gelof's absence?

Gelof's absence should prove to be a boon to the playing time of both Hernaiz and utilityman Max Schuemann, the latter of whom has appeared in 8 games since his call up back on April 11.

Abraham Toro and Tyler Nevin have been getting the bulk of the playing time at third base since JD Davis was placed on the IL with an adductor strain, but both will be in the mix for playing time at second as well.

Neither Schuemann nor Hernaiz have hit well in their brief time in Oakland in 2024. Schuemann knocked his first big league homer and has drawn a couple walks, but is striking out at a 42% clip. Meanwhile, Hernaiz posted a .259 OPS in 32 plate appearances before getting demoted a few weeks ago.

The most likely path forward is for Toro to get the primary third base role and shifting Tyler Nevin to second base most nights. However, manager Mark Kotsay has been molding this team into a pretzel-shaped platoon every night so it's tough to know for sure what his plan is at present.

For example, Esteury Ruiz has a 1.240 OPS and is currently serving in the weak side of an outfield platoon. Nick Allen, however, is getting everyday reps despite a .456 OPS. So it would appear that all options, sensible or not, would seem to be on the table.

Tonight's matchup is scheduled to kick off at 4:05 pm PDT. It'll be interesting to see how Kotsay approaches the lineup card in the coming weeks, as Gelof was one of just two players who had started all of Oakland's games prior to last night.

Even if Gelof wasn't hitting as well as expected, it's still a big role to fill. Gelof adds strong defense to his power and speed combination that aren't easy to replace. Hopefully this group of A's infielders can help fill the void in the interim.