Hahn, Alonso healing; Doolittle progressing in rehab
By Alex Espinoza
Special to MLB.com |
OAKLAND -- The A's just can't seem to shake their injury bug.
Right-handed reliever Bobby Wahl was placed on the 10-day disabled list before Wednesday's contest against Miami, while righty Zach Neal was recalled from Triple-A Nashville to take his spot in the bullpen. Though the A's announced Wahl's injury as a right shoulder strain, manager Bob Melvin characterized it as shoulder soreness and biceps tendinitis that had been lingering for a while.
"It really came to a head last night," Melvin said. "So he'll see the doctor here today. But enough to where we felt like the DL was the prudent thing to do."
Wahl entered Tuesday's contest on short notice in the third inning once starter Jesse Hahn was lifted due to a right triceps strain. Wahl, who has a 4.70 ERA in seven appearances with Oakland this year, gave up two runs on three hits over two innings.
It marks the 14th time this year that the A's have used the disabled list, putting the team on pace to surpass last year's record of 27 DL trips.
"I don't know what to make of it, to tell you the truth," Melvin said. "With all the technology we have nowadays, and our training staff is so cutting edge here and does such a great job. I wish I had a distinct answer for you, but I don't. It seems like it gets worse every year."
Neal received the call late Tuesday night and caught a morning flight across the country from Nashville to Oakland, before walking in the clubhouse about two hours before Wednesday's first pitch. Melvin said Neal is expected to take on a long-relief role in Oakland's eight-man bullpen.
In eight contests (four starts) for Nashville, Neal is 1-2 with a 3.89 ERA, 15 strikeouts and just four walks in 34 2/3 innings.
"That's just me being me," Neal said of his low walk total. "Just me being aggressive and pitching my game."
Hahn, Alonso on the mend
Both Hahn (triceps strain) and first baseman Yonder Alonso (right hand and wrist contusions) had to exit Tuesday's contest due to injuries. Alonso, who was hit by a pitch and left the game after initially staying in as a baserunner, was held out of the lineup Wednesday but he's not expected to be out long.
"Yonder is a little bit sore today," Melvin said. "We don't feel like it's going to be a lingering issue. With the day off [Thursday], we feel like come the Yankees series, we'll get him back in the lineup."
Hahn was still awaiting MRI results as of Wednesday morning, but he said he went through his normal training routine for a day following a start. Melvin noted that Hahn still has six days to recover for his next outing.
"A little sore today, but that could easily just be next-day soreness from pitching," Hahn said. "It's hard to tell right now."
Doolittle set to rehab in Arizona
Melvin announced that rehabbing southpaw reliever Sean Doolittle will throw live batting practice to hitters on Saturday in Arizona. Doolittle threw a 25-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday without any setbacks as he works his way back from a strained left shoulder.
"I feel 100 percent," Doolittle said. "We've got to continue through the remaining process and make sure that we don't cut any corners here rushing back. I'm letting it go 100 percent, effort-wise, on the mound and I'm really happy with how it's coming out."
Melvin said Doolittle will need one or two appearances in a Minor League rehab assignment before returning to Oakland, but he didn't want to set a target date for his pitcher's return.
"We'll monitor and play that by ear," Melvin said. "That's been pretty consistent with what we've done with him when he's had an issue in the past."
Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area who covered the A's on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.