Doolittle nearing rehab assignment

Doolittle nearing rehab assignment

OAKLAND -- A's left-handed reliever Sean Doolittle, who has been on the disabled list since May 28 with a strained left shoulder, threw a simulated game on Tuesday, and everything went smoothly.

Doolittle threw 27 pitches to right-handed hitters Josh Phegley and Mark Canha. He may rehab with Class A Advanced Stockton this weekend, but A's manager Bob Melvin will check on Doolittle Wednesday to make sure he's ready.

When he threw his first simulated game last time, he returned from the DL earlier this season, Phegley and Canha made good contact off him. This time, Phegley struck out on a changeup and popped to second and Canha flied out to shallow right, grounded to short and struck out.

"[Phegley] thinks he blooped a single in behind second base, but he had no shot," Doolittle said, smiling. "[Eric Sogard's] camped under that every time."

Doolittle said deception is more important to his game than velocity, and he was pleased with the way he located the ball and moved the ball around the zone.

His velocity was also higher than it was in his simulated games earlier this season.

"I thought he threw the ball considerably better than we saw in his last simulated games," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We're excited about where he's at right now."

Worth noting

Josh Reddick was scratched before Tuesday's game with lower-back tightness. Reddick, who injured his back Sunday, was originally set to bat third and play right.

Instead, Canha made his first start of the season in right field and hit seventh. Stephen Vogt moved up to the three-hole.

Trevor Hass is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.