In 2015 and 2016 with Triple-A Nashville, Joey Wendle hit .285 while averaging 11 home runs, 80.5 runs, 59 RBI and 13 stolen bases - useful numbers, to say the least, for someone who hasn't really been considered a top prospect playing in a poor hitters' park. Despite his 6-foot-1, 189-pound frame, he delivers crisp swings. Oakland even tried him in the leadoff spot against right-handed pitching after calling him up in September. There's a lot of Joe Panik in him, for better or worse. It doesn't seem like he'll excel in any single counting category. When a player is heavily reliant on batting average for fantasy value, plenty can go wrong, especially for someone who isn't an automatic .300 hitter or an elite prospect. Wendle may get another shot in 2017, though Jed Lowrie could push him for at-bats if he can recover from foot surgery. He has a slightly intriguing power-speed mix, but not enough to suggest that he's an attractive piece outside of AL-only formats.
Wendle will resume throwing on Thursday after being shut down with a shoulder issue, Joe Stiglich of CSN California reports. Wendle hasn't appeared in a spring game since March 7 due to an undisclosed shoulder issue, though he recently underwent an MRI that showed no significant damage, which is positive news. The A's likely won't rush the 26-year-old back, as he's expected to start the year at Triple-A.
Wendle is out of the lineup Thursday against the Mariners, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports. Wendle will head to the bench with the A's facing lefty Ariel Miranda, as he did the last time the team faced a southpaw. While he continues to lead off against right-handed pitching, Wendle has mostly underwhelmed in the leadoff role with a .324 OBP and .339 SLG from the top spot.
Wendle is out of the lineup Friday against the Rangers. He had started the last eight games for the A's at second base, but is out of the lineup in favor of Chad Pinder on Friday. In those eight games, Wendle hit .294/.342/.382 with one home run in 38 plate appearances. He should be able to compete to be Oakland's starting second baseman next year in spring training.
Wendle went 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored Saturday in an 11-2 win over Texas. Wendle's leadoff blast off Yu Darvish in the first inning, his first-ever big league homer, set the tone for the last place A's romp of the AL West-leading Rangers. Since being called up at the beginning of September, he is hitting .319/.340/.319 with six runs, seven RBI and two steals. He is worth a look for owners that need help at second base down the stretch.
Wendle was 4-for-6 with three runs scored Thursday against the Royals to raise his average to .349. Wendle was called up to the A's in late August and has been starting most of the games at second base and has recently been moved to the leadoff spot. While Wendle is hitting an impressive .349, it should be noted that he is also slugging .349 with all 15 of his hits going for singles. He displayed a little bit of pop and speed in the Triple-A this season with 12 bombs and 14 steals in 125 games, but he has yet to show any pop at all so far in his short major league stint. If he continues to hit atop the A's lineup down the stretch, he could be of some value to those in deeper leagues needing to make a move in the runs scored category.