The A’s placed designated hitter Mitch Moreland on the 10-day IL with left wrist tendinitis and recalled outfielder Skye Bolt from Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday.
As a member of a five-player taxi squad, Bolt was already on the A’s road trip to Detroit for a four-game series against the Tigers. Others on the taxi squad for the Oakland A’s trip to Detroit and Toronto include catcher Austin Allen and pitchers Grant Holmes, Sam Moll and Adam Kolarek.
One name is notably missing from the taxi squad. With active rosters set to expand from 26 to 28 players starting Wednesday, designated hitter Khris Davis is not with the team in Detroit.
Down a designated hitter in Moreland, the A’s may ultimately bring Davis along as a potential September call-up. Another factor in any decision: If he’s not added to the 40-man roster before 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Davis becomes ineligible for the A’s postseason roster.
Even in a hitter-friendly league, Davis’ Las Vegas numbers are stunning. He was named the Triple-A West Player of the Week last week when he hit .391 last week and homered in five straight games. Though he could still earn a call-up — there is an open spot on the 40-man roster, and should be another when Piscotty is transferred to the 60-day IL– the A’s front office takes Triple-A numbers with a grain of salt. Power there doesn’t directly translate to power in Oakland.
Bolt is a logical addition now with the A’s down to two full-time outfielders — Mark Canha and Starling Marte — with Chad Pinder, Josh Harrison and Tony Kemp available to fill into a corner if the matchup allows. Bolt is a strong defensive outfielder whose speed matches his name — he could be used primarily as a pinch runner. Bolt is batting .387 with a 1.143 OPS in the hitter-friendly Triple-A West.
The A’s called up pitcher Daulton Jefferies when outfielder Seth Brown tested positive for COVID. If and when Brown is reinstated at least 10 days from Aug. 27, Jefferies is likely to stay on the active roster as a long reliever or option to start.
If the A’s don’t see a need to add another designated hitter in Moreland’s place, Moll or Kolarek could be called up until Brown returns.
Kolarek, acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the offseason, hasn’t pitched in a big league game since May 19 and gave up eight runs in 12 appearances before being sent back to the minors. Moll, acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks in July, pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings in three appearances with the A’s and was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas when Oakland traded for lefty Andrew Chafin.
Holmes, one of the A’s top pitching prospects, is a starter unlikely to earn a call-up as Jefferies should earn any spot starts or slide into the rotation in case of injury.
With two starting catchers in Sean Murphy and Yan Gomes, Allen might be redundant if called up. Allen is batting .321 with a .948 OPS with the Aviators this year.