The news the A’s received on left-handed starter Scott Kazmir was about as good as Oakland could have hoped.
After coming out of Wednesday’s game in the third inning with shoulder pain, Kazmir had an MRI that revealed no structural damage in his left shoulder. The A’s will have him skip a start, then see it he’s good to go.
“The doc’s going to see him again today, but we’re looking at him miss just one start,’’ manager Bob Melvin said. “The MRI showed just a bit of a weak shoulder.
“There is some relief (with the news). You could kind of tell with him yesterday that that was the case. He was open to going back out there. But we just wanted to be careful with him, with good reason.’’
Kazmir threw three innings, then as his shoulder tightened up, the A’s decided he was done even though Kazmir said he wanted to throw another inning. He didn’t give up a hit or a run in his three innings, but did walk four.
On an every-fifth-day rotation, Kazmir would be due to pitch Monday. It’s an off-day for the A’s, meaning Oakland likely won’t have to alter its rotation any to give Kazmir one turn off.
–Oakland will be without center fielder Coco Crisp probably until after the All-Star break after he had his ailing neck checked out by Dr. Michael Watkins.
Crisp, who had two bouts with neck pain last year, hasn’t played since reinjuring his neck while trying to make a diving catch on May 19 in Houston. Surgery would come with the stipulation that he not play baseball again, so he and the A’s are looking for work-arounds so he can continue playing.
“They are recommending an epidural, and he’ll get that tomorrow,’’ Melvin said. “But we are looking at at least a month of no baseball activity after that.
That would take Crisp to the final week of June, and even if everything went well, he’d need time to get into playing shape again. The All-Star Game is July 14.
Crisp rejoined the A’s Thursday, had the trainers look at him and spent much of the pregame having his neck treated.
In his stead, the A’s are having Billy Burns play center field with Sam Fuld moving to left. Burns, a switch-hitter like Crisp, is the A’s leadoff hitter in Crisp’s absence.
–Starter A.J. Griffin will probably need one more simulated game before he goes out on an injury rehabilitation assignment as he continues the long road back from last April’s Tommy John surgery.
He threw to batters Andy Parrino and Ike Davis Thursday, throwing all of his pitches in two 15-pitch segments. Davis said “he looked good to me, threw a fastball, curve and change, and they all looked good.
Griffin said being able to throw off a big league mound, even in a sim game, reduces his level of stir crazy-ness and said the shoulder discomfort that set him back about 10 days earlier this month, was something of a low point.
“I thought I was ready to go out on a rehab assignment when that came up,’’ Griffin said. “It was more frustrating than anything, because I could tell there wasn’t really anything wrong with the shoulder.’’
–Lefty reliever Eric O’Flaherty threw a 14-pitch inning for Nashville in Sacramento Wednesday and said he’s feeling just about at the top of his game with his shoulder pain having quieted. He could be activated from the disabled list after another appearance or two with Nashville.
–Lefty starter Drew Pomeranz is about ready to head out on an injury rehab assignment after throwing a bullpen session Thursday. He had a cortisone shot in his left shoulder to reduce AC joint pain.
–Right-handed reliever Edward Mujica may need more than the 15-day minimum stint on the disabled list before he’s back. He took a line drive off his right hand resulting in a laceration and minor fracture of his right thumb. The stitches have yet to come out and the fracture will need time to heal.
–First baseman Ike Davis did some running before Thursday’s game, but he didn’t do the full-out sprint that will test the health of his left quad. “He’s not there yet,’’ Melvin said. Davis said the quad is getting better but hasn’t been fully tested.