Chad Pinder lit it up during Spring Training and as a result the Oakland Athletics gave him more playing time to their utility man.
For the spring he hit .356 with three home runs, seven rbi, three doubles, a triple, walked seven times and his OBP was .453. He has also been one of the better hitters for the A’s hitting .300 with a home run and two rbi, yet has struck out five times in 10 plate appearances.
Pinder has become loved by A’s fans for his grit and many have wanted him to get more playing time in 2021 and he has. Manager Bob Melvin has played him in all four games so far, the most surprising part is where, the outfield. He’s got one appearance in left field and three in right field as Stephen Piscotty has battled a wrist injury.
While Pinder does possesses the ability to play the outfield it’s not his strongest defensive position. To his credit he made an incredible run saving diving catch on a ball that Jose Altuve hit on opening day. Earlier in that same game though he made a leaping catch on a ball hit by Kyle Tucker, yet the way he tracked the ball seemed awkward and he didn’t look comfortable as he approached the warning track.
A similar play happened in today’s game against the Houston Astros. Unfortunately for Pinder he ended up hurting his left knee as a result. He did make the catch, yet was down for a bit before he got up gingerly and then carefully ran off the field.
Melvin took no chances and Piscotty ended up replacing him in right field.
Reports are now indicating that Pinder will get an MRI on Monday as the left knee got sprained.
With Pinder likely out for at least a few days expect to see Ka’ai Tom to get more playing time. He also had a great spring hitting .310 with a home run, six rbi, two doubles, a triple, four walks and an OBP of .412.
If Pinder is out for several weeks and gets put on the 10-day injured list, Vimael Machin is a likely candidate to take on the utility role as he is able to play three spots on the infield.
Here’s a look at those two defensive plays as well.
— Oakland A’s (@Athletics) April 2, 2021
Pinder went full Superman 😱 pic.twitter.com/FLk1qQTRdQ
— A’s on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) April 2, 2021