The Oakland Athletics placed outfielder Josh Willingham on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday. Willingham, in his first season with the A’s, will be sidelined due to an Achilles heel problem that has been bothering him.
Willingham was hitting .231/.307/.410 with a team leading 10 home runs and 42 RBIs before landing on the disabled list. Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that Willingham feels that he’ll likely be able to return to the team once he’s deemed eligible to come off the DL on July 3.
Offensively, this season has been a disappointment for not only the A’s, but for Willingham as well. Once considered a strong candidate to get traded before the season’s trade deadline, Willingham’s stock has taken a hit by this recent injury.
If the A’s do fall out of contention next month, the team could be looking for pieces to sell. Willingham, if healthy, figures to be one of those pieces. In order to get the most out of a potential deal, however, the A’s will need Willingham to recover from this nagging injury.
But if Oakland continues in the right direction under interim manager Bob Melvin, the team could be looking to add pieces come the trade deadline rather than sell. The A’s lack a big bat in the lineup, and the team’s young pitching needs run support, so going after a bat or two before the deadline isn’t out of the question.