Bad news bears, folks.
Matt Chapman, who hasn’t played in a game since Sept. 6, is reportedly out for the year after visiting a hip specialist in Vail, Colo. Susan Slusser of the SF Chronicle dropped the bombshell via Twitter on Saturday morning.
Chapman had been struggling mightily at the plate before being taken out mid-game last Sunday. Here’s his final at-bat of the year:
Chapman has struck out 10/11 at-bats this series pic.twitter.com/hr5EsRAniM
— The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) September 6, 2020
Chapman has definitely struggled at the plate throughout his career, but 10 strikeouts in 11 at-bats is a super slump.
The next day, A’s manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Chapman had tweaked his hip while fielding a groundball, but he had clearly already been dealing with the pain for a while.
Here’s the play where Matt Chapman tweaked his hip yesterday pic.twitter.com/ZgwkupvYuE
— The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) September 8, 2020
I also can’t stop thinking about this mean fall he took back on Aug. 20 and wonder if he did something here. He hit a home run his next at-bat, but still.
Matt Chapman mighta hurt his left wrist on this awkward spill here in the outfield but he stayed in the game pic.twitter.com/v8wLc0cadt
— The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) August 21, 2020
ManChap ends the season with a .232/.276/.535 slash line, 10 homers and 25 RBIs, and you have to think his chances of winning a third consecutive Gold Glove are all but over. He’s an ultra-competitive guy so you know that this is absolutely eating at him, and you hope that he doesn’t have any long-term effects.
Looking back on his 2020 season, the game that sticks out the most is definitely his epic effort on Aug. 10 in Anaheim, when he hit two dingers, hit a triple and made some slick defensive plays while driving in six runs.
Matt Chapman is a monster pic.twitter.com/VIgGA0bf5f
— The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) August 11, 2020
My guess is that Chad Pinder, Vimael Machin and Tommy La Stella split time over at the hot corner now that Chapman is gone, giving BoMel another position to tinker with in the lineup.
While Chapman wasn’t having a great year at the plate, his mere presence in the lineup will be missed sorely. His defense? Irreplaceable.
But ManChap’s not going anywhere anytime soon, as he enters his first of three arbitration years in 2021. This will likely hurt him at the bargaining table for this offseason, but hey, maybe the A’s will just sign him to a whopper of a contract anyways, right? Right?