OAKLAND – Eric Sogard is likely to require surgery on his left knee, and the A’s could be without the versatile infielder until after the All-Star break.
An MRI showed that Sogard has bone spurs in his knee that need to be removed. He also said the patella bone needs to be shaved down in one area. He was examined by team orthopedist Dr. Will Workman, who told Sogard that the combination of both issues is a somewhat unusual circumstance.
The team is trying to arrange a second opinion for Sogard, but the infielder said if the diagnosis is confirmed, he’s likely to have surgery next week. The estimated timetable for recovery would be six to eight weeks. And given the time he would need for a rehab assignment, it’s conceivable that Sogard could be out through the All-Star break in mid-July.
“To have to undergo surgery is tough,” Sogard said Saturday morning. “But it’s good to get it right.”
Sogard said his knee has been a lingering issue for the past couple years. And because it’s the back knee that’s an issue for the left-handed hitter, he believes it’s hindered his ability to drive the ball. Knee pain sidelined him briefly during spring training. He’s recently been on a rehab assignment for a neck strain, and his knee began bothering him more during two games playing for Single-A Stockton.
The injury update is more positive with right-hander Henderson Alvarez. After a strong showing in Friday’s simulated game, Melvin said Alvarez will throw a bullpen session Sunday, and if that goes well he’ll be sent out on a minor league rehab assignment next.
The A’s signed Alvarez to a one-year $4.25 million contract over the offseason, but they retain team control over him for next season via arbitration. The timetable all along has been late May to early June, and Melvin said Saturday that that hasn’t changed. The plan is to get Alvarez built up to around 100 pitches. He threw 30 on Friday.
“It’s been right on the timetable that our guys have set out, which is good,” Melvin said.
Hot-hitting Marcus Semien is getting a look as the No. 2 hitter Saturday after starting all but one of the first 11 games in the ninth spot. The shortstop is 6-for-15 over his last five games and has homered four times over that span.
The A’s need some sort of spark at the plate. They enter Saturday’s game ranked 13th out of 15 American League teams in runs (29), 14th in on-base percentage (.265) and 13th in batting average (.212) and slugging percentage (.331).
Melvin likes Semien’s run production at the bottom of the order, but it’s tough not to move Semien up as things are unfolding right now.
“With (Chris) Coghlan out of the lineup, I felt like he was the best choice for the ‘2’ spot today,” Melvin said. “It doesn’t mean he’s gonna stay there, but the way he’s been swinging, he deserves it today.”