The A’s announced they’ve designated infielder Matt Davidson for assignment. Oakland also placed Dany Jiménez on the 15-day injured list, put Sam Moll on the COVID-19 list, and recalled four players: Nick Allen, Sheldon Neuse, Domingo Tapia and Kirby Snead.
Oakland did not need to create a 40-man roster spot for any of Allen, Neuse, Tapia or Snead. Davidson, though, is out of minor league option years. The A’s were thus left with the decision to keep him on the big league roster or take him off the 40-man entirely. With Davidson collecting just four hits while striking out ten times in eight games in an Oakland uniform, the club will turn back to Neuse and Allen in the infield at his expense.
Davidson has made 13 total big league appearances this year, as he also suited up five times with the D-Backs. He’s managed just a .147 / .216 / .324 showing against MLB arms, but the right-handed hitter has torn the cover off the ball in Triple-A. Between Arizona’s and Oakland’s top affiliates, Davidson owns a .306 / .389 / .711 line with 15 home runs in only 139 trips to the plate.
The extreme hitter-friendly nature of the Pacific Coast League no doubt has propped up those numbers, but Davidson has also flashed some power potential over parts of six MLB seasons. He’s a career .220 / .290 / .430 hitter in a bit more than 1100 plate appearances. Davidson’s .209 ISO (slugging minus batting average) is strong, but his huge strikeout totals and low walk rates have led to persistent issues reaching base.
Oakland will have a week to trade Davidson or run him through waivers. The latter outcome seems likelier given his lack of recent success against big league pitching. The 31-year-old has already cleared waivers once this season. He elected free agency last time around, and he’d have the right to do so again if he goes unclaimed.
Jiménez hits the IL with a shoulder strain; his placement is retroactive to June 19. Signed to a minor league contract over the winter, the righty has surprisingly jumped into a high-leverage role for manager Mark Kotsay. Jiménez has collected the first 11 saves of his career, pitching to a 4.38 ERA through 24 2/3 innings. He had not allowed an earned run through the end of April, but Jiménez has been tagged for 12 runs (all earned) in 15 2/3 frames going back to the beginning of May.