Blackburn likely out for remainder of season

A's right-hander diagnosed with deep bone bruise in right hand

Blackburn likely out for remainder of season

SEATTLE -- A's right-hander Paul Blackburn is not expected to pitch again this season, after a visit with a hand specialist revealed a deep bone bruise in his pitching hand.

Blackburn, who took a line drive to his right hand/wrist area in Baltimore last week, is back to wearing a splint.

"It's going to be on another week or 10 days at least," A's manager Bob Melvin said, "so it's probably a stretch to think he would start another game for us. We're not completely saying that yet, but it looks like it might be difficult."

It would be a sour ending to an otherwise positive season for Blackburn, who debuted in July and proceeded to compile a 3.22 ERA across 10 starts. A pleasantly surprised group of A's decision-makers now has Blackburn penciled into the 2018 rotation.

"I'll tell you what, I never expected him to be in the position that he put himself in this year," Melvin said. "Coming out of spring, we never even saw extended outings from him, didn't get him a start. All he did was come up here and, at one point in time, he was probably our most effective starter for a stretch. He's definitely put his name in position for next year having a rotation spot."

With Blackburn out of the mix, right-hander Chris Smith will likely remain in the rotation through the remainder of the season.

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.