With the return of catcher Chris Herrmann, brought to Oakland via free agency on a one-year deal last December, the A’s roster has once again evolved.
Herrmann was activated from the 60-day injured list on Monday, having mussed the first 85 games of the season following right knee arthroscopic surgery.
To make room on the 25-man roster, Beau Taylor was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas.
Manager Bob Melvin is excited to get Herrmann, who was expected to take the lion’s share of starts behind the dish at the time of his signing, back, but acknowledged the play he received from Taylor:
“It has been a while and unfortunately he didn’t get to start with us, but not taking anything away from Beau Taylor. Beau did a great job for us, we are creating some depth in that position and it is finally nice to get Chris back in here. I think he had four or five home runs in Triple-A so he is swinging the bat well and we will get him in the line up tonight. He is a guy we signed early in the offseason for a reason and it is nice to see him here and finally get him in a game.”
Herrmann played for the Seattle Mariners last season, batting .237 with two homers and seven RBIs in just 36 games. The 31-year-old is peppered back into a 40-man catching corps that includes Taylor, Nick Hundley, currently shelved following his own arthroscopic knee surgery, and Josh Phegley, who is tied for third on the club with 42 RBIs.
Twenty-four-year-old Sean Murphy, the franchise’s No. 3 prospect, is lying in wait.
For now, the A’s will let it ride with the tandem of Phegley and Herrmann, though Melvin said the deployment of the duo will not be a straight-forward left-right platoon:
“Herrmann was swinging the bat pretty well (at Triple-A). We wanted to get him in right away. Phegs will play tomorrow night — it is not like we are going to run away from Phegs, he has been doing a great job this year. It is going to be a little bit of a balance between both but I think it is important to get Chris involved and get him here in the first day when he is swinging the bat well.”
In other injury-related news
Stephen Piscotty was placed on the 10-day IL. He had a tough month in June, slashing .169/.213/.313 in 22 before injuring his knee sliding into second Saturday. He walked off the field with the assistance of 2019 All-Star Matt Chapman.
An MRI on Monday revealed no tear, Melvin said:
“As far as the MRI goes, there is no tear in there so we caught a serious break, I think. … It still will be a fairly significant period, a month, somewhere around that, but I am getting way ahead of myself … it’s all about getting him through the process of strengthening and rehabbing and hopefully get him back on the field sooner than later.”
Franklin Barreto was recalled to fill his roster spot.
Barreto has seen some outfield reps in the minors but will see the majority of his time at second base with Jurickson Profar sliding into a utility role.
The plan is to give Barreto consistent at-bats, which he has never gotten in the big leagues:
“That doesn’t mean that Jurickson is not going to play at all. You may see Jurickson take some ground balls at some different positions, maybe even take some in the outfield to create some versatility for him in different ways to get him in the line up but Frankie is probably going to get the majority time at second, not necessarily at every single game but I think this is a great opportunity for him for the first time in the big leagues to get some consistent at bats.”