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AL West Notes: Chapman, Fiers, Greinke, Cobb, Rodriguez

X-rays were negative on Matt Chapman’s left foot/shin area after the Athletics third baseman fouled a ball off himself during today’s 8-6 loss to the Rangers.  Chapman’s last plate appearance took place in the third inning, though he returned to the field in the next inning before being removed from the game prior to the top of the fifth.  A’s manager Bob Melvin told The San Francisco Chronicle’s Matt Kawahara and other reporters that Chapman likely won’t play on Sunday out of precaution.

Since the A’s don’t play on Monday, Chapman would get a full two days of recovery time, with an eye towards returning when the Athletics begin a road series with the Royals on Tuesday.  It has been an inconsistent season overall for Chapman, though he has been one of Oakland’s hotter players in the second half, batting .223/.338/.538 with 13 home runs in his 154 plate appearances entering today’s game.

More from the AL West…

  • Mike Fiers has missed almost the entire season due to injury, though the veteran righty might yet be able to return to the Athletics before the 2021 campaign is out.  Fiers threw 25 pitches during a live batting practice session on Friday, and Bob Melvin told reporters (including MLB.com’s Martin Gallegos) that Fiers is set for a Triple-A rehab outing this week.  A right elbow sprain has sidelined Fiers since May 6, so he would almost surely be returning as a reliever if he does get back to Oakland’s active roster, since there doesn’t seem to be enough time for Fiers to ramp up for a starting pitcher’s workload.  Between that elbow sprain and an early-season hip issue, Fiers has tossed only 9 1/3 innings in 2021, with a 7.71 ERA.
  • After being placed on the Astros’ COVID-related injury list on August 31, Zack Greinke is scheduled to return and start on Tuesday when the Astros face the Rangers.  Greinke, his wife, and his two sons all tested positive for the coronavirus despite being fully vaccinated, the right-hander told reporters (including The Houston Chronicle’s Chandler Rome), and all are now recovered.  Greinke has a 3.66 ERA/4.55 SIERA over 159 2/3 innings this season, as one of the league’s best walk rates (5.0%) has helped Greinke succeed despite a 17% strikeout rate, his lowest K% since the 2005 season.
  • Alex Cobb threw three simulated innings yesterday, and Angels manager Joe Maddon told Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register (Twitter links) that Cobb could potentially be activated off the 10-day IL for a start this week.  Cobb has been out of action since July 30 due to right wrist inflammation.  Despite this missed time and an earlier injured-list stint due to blister problems, Cobb has been one of the Angels’ better starters this year, with a 3.82 ERA/3.65 SIERA, 53.8% grounder rate, and a career-best 25.7% strikeout rate over 77 2/3 innings.
  • Also from Maddon, he announced that right-hander Chris Rodriguez has been shut down for the remainder of the season.  Rodriguez has been on the minor league IL due to a lat strain for almost a month, and he also spent a month on the Angels’ injured list due to shoulder inflammation earlier this season.  Injuries have plagued Rodriguez for much of his pro career, though he did make his MLB debut this year, and posted a respectable 3.64 ERA over 29 2/3 innings (starting two of 15 games).

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