Mark Canha Suffers Strained Groin

1:11am: Canha and the A’s may have dodged a bullet: He hopes to play Friday, Slusser tweets.

12:53am: The playoff-contending Athletics picked up a crucial victory over the Angels on Wednesday, but they may have suffered a serious loss in the process. Outfielder Mark Canha left the game in the seventh inning with a strained groin, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. With so little time left in the season, it’s possible Canha won’t play again in 2019, Slusser notes.

This had been a dream season for Canha prior to Wednesday’s unfortunate turn of events. The 30-year-old has enjoyed one of the biggest breakouts of any player in 2019, having slashed .275/.399/.524 with 26 home runs in 489 plate appearances. Canha ranks ninth in the majors among qualified hitters in wRC+ (148), while his 4.2 fWAR places third out of Oakland’s position players. And Canha has complemented his stellar offensive output with versatility in the outfield, where he has seen time at all three spots (primarily center of late).

There’s no doubt Canha’s contributions are among the chief reasons the A’s own a 95-63 record and a half-game lead on the AL’s top wild-card spot. Now, if the A’s do hang on to reach the playoffs, it’s possible they’ll have to go without one of their best players. They’re already down fellow outfielder Stephen Piscotty, who hasn’t played since Aug. 24 and who’s not a sure bet to return from an ankle sprain. Aside from Canha, Oakland’s recent outfield mix has featured Ramon Laureano, Seth Brown, Chad Pinder and Robbie Grossman.