LOS ANGELES — Boog Powell is going to be out longer than expected.
After flying back to Oakland for an MRI on his right knee, it was revealed Powell sustained a grade 1 MCL sprain during his final at-bat in Saturday’s loss to the Angels.
Though he’s currently on the 10-day disabled list, A’s manager Bob Melvin said with the treatment required for the injury, it’s going to be a while before Powell can even get back to working out on a regular basis.
After working hard in spring training to earn the starting center field job for opening day, Melvin said Powell was obviously down about the way he lost the job.
“He worked hard to get this spot. His first opening day. He was pretty excited about it,” Melvin said. “He was getting a chance to start and play against left-handed pitching. You do feel bad for him. But he’ll work his way back. He’s a fighter. I know he’s a little bit down in the dumps right now, but he’ll be here again soon.”
The extended estimated time on Powell’s injury opens up opportunities for a few other outfielders.
Trayce Thompson made his A’s debut Tuesday night against the Dodgers, striking out in a pinch-hit appearance.
Even though it’s been Jake Smolinski getting all the opportunities so far, the right-handed Thompson could get his share of chances in center field with the A’s set to square off with more left-handed pitching in the coming week.
Top prospect Franklin Barreto, who was also called up last week after utility man Chad Pinder landed on the 10-day disabled list, could also get a look in center field. He’s already been taking fly balls in the outfield during batting practice.
Having been originally drafted as a center fielder/shortstop, Barreto certainly has the athleticism to play out there, and the A’s could certainly use his bat in the lineup.
There is also the possibility that Dustin Fowler gets called up soon.
Fowler, who was originally assigned to Triple-A Nashville to begin the year as the A’s look to give him more time to get comfortable at the plate, is 6 for 21 in five games in the minors with two stolen bases.
A left-handed bat, Fowler would give the A’s a chance to utilize somewhat of a platoon scenario with Thompson and Jake Smolinski.
INJURED A’S REHABBING
Josh Phegley and Renato Nunez, who both sustained injuries during spring, seems close to being fully healthy again.
Pheglely will begin a rehab stint as the designated hitter at Single-A Stockton for a couple of days before heading to Triple-A, while Nunez has already been getting in some games at Triple-A, going 4 for 12 through three games.