Doolittle gets good news from MRI exam

Doolittle gets good news from MRI exam

OAKLAND -- A heap of frustration accompanied the onset of Sean Doolittle's latest shoulder injury, but the A's left-hander has found relief in learning there's no structural damage.

Speaking Friday for the first time since being placed on the disabled list earlier in the week, Doolittle said an MRI exam ruled out damage to the rotator cuff and labrum in his left shoulder. He'll be shut down for the time being and treat the shoulder symptomatically.

"I haven't got a lot of MRIs that didn't show structural damage," Doolittle said, flashing a smile. "It's kind of best-case scenario.

"I have some discomfort in the front of the shoulder. It feels more muscular than anything I've ever felt before. The rotator cuff and labrum issues were really kind of a grindy feeling. This is more like tightness or soreness that's just a little more intense than painful."

Doolittle, officially diagnosed with an interior shoulder strain, said he went through a full shoulder workout Friday, noting his range of motion is already back.

The hard-throwing reliever missed 59 games last season with a shoulder injury and 121 games the year before for two injuries related to the shoulder. He's in the fourth year of a five-year deal that includes club options for 2018 and '19.

Doolittle had taken measures of late to prevent another setback, which made this one all the more startling. Only on Saturday, after throwing just five pitches in Houston, did he experience soreness postgame.

"I was really upset and angry, but that's really not going to help the situation," said Doolittle, who has a 3.52 ERA across nine appearances in a season that's still young. "I realize it's the first week of May and there's a lot of season left. My focus right now is kind of channeling that frustration into the rehab process."

A's honor late broadcaster

To pay homage to the late, great Bill King, the three-sport announcer who will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this summer, the A's unveiled a "Holy Toledo" sign -- his coined phrase -- in center field ahead of Friday's opener with Detroit. The sign will light up during big A's plays.

"Bill King was a huge part of my youth," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Certainly baseball, but football he was unbelievable, and really my favorite was listening to him during basketball games. When I wasn't at Warriors games, I was listening to him. His voice is just embedded in me, and in my youth. One of the greats of all time, if not the greatest."

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.