UPDATE (10am on Wednesday) -- The A's placed Tyler Ladendorf on the DL, and selected Chad Pinder from Nashville, the club announced.
As the A’s continue to flounder in the standings, there’s at least some movement within the farm system that carries a little intrigue.
According to multiple reports that came out Tuesday, Triple-A Nashville middle infielder Chad Pinder will join Oakland on Wednesday in Texas. Pinder is one of a handful of highly touted prospects who have been with Nashville this season. Baseball America ranked Pinder the A’s No. 6 prospect in its midseason rankings.
He was the Texas League Player of the Year last season with Double-A Midland and received an invitation to major league camp this past spring. How long the 24-year-old Pinder stays up, and what his exact role will be, has yet to be revealed.
With Marcus Semien reportedly set to go on paternity leave in the coming days, Pinder could see some time at shortstop. Should he stick with the A’s for an extended period, Pinder could also see time at second base with Jed Lowrie being sidelined the rest of the season as he undergoes left foot surgery. A’s manager Bob Melvin praised Pinder’s versatility during the spring.
Pinder, a Competitive Balance Round pick (71st overall) in 2013 out of Virginia Tech, is hitting .258 with 14 home runs and 51 RBI with Nashville. He’s played primarily shortstop since the start of last season but spent much of 2014 at second base while highly regarded shortstops Addison Russell and Daniel Robertson were still in the organization.
Also Tuesday, it was announced that third baseman Matt Chapman has been promoted from Double-A to Triple-A. Ranked the A’s No. 2 prospect by Baseball America, the 23-year-old Chapman led the A’s in both homers and RBI during an eye-opening run with the big club in spring training. With Midland this season, he hit .244 and was leading the Texas League in both home runs (29) and RBI (83).
A’s general manager David Forst, during a blog interview Tuesday with Nashville play-by-play man Jeff Hem, discussed Chapman’s promotion.
“He’s had a fantastic year,” Forst said. “Twenty-nine homers with the Rockhounds, playing outstanding defense at third. It’s probably overdue for him to get a promotion. Matt’s earned his way here, and I think (Nashville) fans will enjoy watching him for the next month.”
It remains to be seen whether Chapman might get a major league call-up after rosters expand in September. Whether he does or not, figure Chapman to be a strong candidate to push for a big league roster spot next spring. The A’s consider him to have Gold Glove-caliber tools defensively.
Rookie Ryon Healy, who has acquitted himself quite well as the A’s third baseman since his call-up after the All-Star break, also has experience playing first base. So it’s conceivable he could shift to that side of the diamond once Chapman eventually arrives in the majors.
Also noteworthy — innings have opened up at third base for Nashville with Renato Nunez, another top-10 prospect for the A’s, getting some time in left field. Nunez, 22, is one of the A’s top power-hitting prospects, and considering the A’s system is more stacked in the infield than the outfield, the A’s are doing some experimenting with Nunez.
“We’ve talked internally about Renato getting some work in left field for a while,” Forst told Hem. “It’s clear we’ve got a little logjam on the (infield) corners. … We want to get at-bats for these guys wherever we can.”
Jesse Hahn, coming back from a shoulder strain, made a rehab start with Nashville on Tuesday and went four innings, giving up one run and two hits with six strikeouts against Tacoma.