The Oakland A's were all smiles on Thursday with celebrity visitor Will Ferrell in camp to suit up with the team as part of his #FarrellTakeTheField day around the Cactus League. However, there was some bad news on the injury front. The A's told beat reporters in Mesa after the game that first base prospect Rangel Ravelo will undergo right wrist surgery on Friday. Ravelo will be out indefinitely.
Ravelo was one of the players acquired from the Chicago White Sox in the Jeff Samardzija deal. According to Jane Lee of MLB.com, Ravelo had some discomfort in his wrist over the off-season, but he had been cleared for spring training. He re-aggravated the injury swinging the bat this spring. Ravelo appeared in just one Cactus League game, doubling in his only at-bat. He landed on our 2015 Oakland A's top prospect list at number 16.
Ravelo appeared in 133 games for Double-A Birmingham last season. He hit .309/.386/.473 with a career-high 11 homeruns. Ravelo was expected to suit up for Triple-A Nashville at the start of the year. The A's were hoping to get a look at Ravelo at third base, as well as first base. He was a third baseman early in his career with the White Sox, but he had played first base the past two seasons.
The Nashville Sounds should still have plenty of depth at first base and third base without Ravelo on the roster. Max Muncy, a first baseman for most of his career, has played at third base exclusively this spring. He should be joined by first baseman Anthony Aliotti and infielders Alden Carrithers and Niuman Romero on the Sounds roster. Utilitymen Andy Parrino and Tyler Ladendorf are also possibilities for Nashville if they don't make the A's roster. In addition, 40-man roster players Nate Freiman and Alex Hassan could end up in Nashville. Both Freiman and Hassan have lots of experience at first base.
Ravelo joins a growing list of ailing A's players. Outfielder Josh Reddick is shutdown for at least another week with an oblique strain that is likely to cost him the first few weeks of the regular season. Closer Sean Doolittle hasn't thrown off the mound yet and is not likely to return to the A's active roster until May. Starter Sean Nolin, also acquired in a trade this off-season, is working his way back from off-season sports hernia surgery. Freiman, Hassan, outfielder Coco Crisp and first baseman Ike Davis are all nursing minor injuries that will keep them out of action for a few more days, at least.
Despite all of the injuries, the A's are having a good spring as a team. The A's are 7-2 after their come-from-behind win over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday. Spring mini-camp participant Kent Matthes singled home fellow spring mini-camp attendee Chad Pinder to cap-off a walk-off, 4-3 win. The A's scored three times in the bottom of the ninth, with Luke Carlin, Carrithers and Bryan Anderson all collecting doubles, while Romero walked and Matthes picked up the game-winning hit.