The A’s are back home after an encouraging 5-4 road trip to the East and can go two games over .500 for the first time in nearly a year. But the Blue Jays will be tough over the next two days with their top two starters, Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow, scheduled to face them.
And it just got a little tougher. Brandon McCarthy, who was originally scheduled to start Tuesday night, was scratched with shoulder soreness and won’t pitch again until Saturday at the earliest. McCarthy threw a bullpen session on Sunday and felt fine. He also had an MRI and it came back clean. But anytime the right-hander has any kind of shoulder discomfort, it’s a bit of a red flag. It has derailed him four of the past five season and last year, he spent six weeks on the disabled list with a stress reaction in his right scapula (shoulder blade).
McCarthy doesn’t think it’s serious but wants to be sure. He’ll throw another bullpen on Thursday, and if he comes out of that OK, he’ll start Saturday. Asked how it compared to last season, he said, “Not even in the same universe, it really isn’t. I threw a bullpen two days ago and it was fine then.. I just noticed it the day after I started in Boston. It was just a little bit sore. Some of the telltale signs that I look for were there, so we’re trying to err on the side of caution.”
A’s manager Bob Melvin hadn’t arrived last year when McCarthy incurred his last shoulder blade issue, something that has become almost an annual issue for him to varying degree.
“He knows himself very well, and how we combat this we’re not sure, because we don’t know if that’s exactly what it is,” said Melvin. “So we’re going to give him a few days off, see if we can bide a little time and hopefully he feels better when he throws a bullpen on Thursday.”
The A’s are starting Jarrod Parker Tuesday night and Parker had originally been in that spot anyway. Tyson Ross will pitch Wednesday, Bartolo Colon Thursday and Tommy Milone on Friday night.
Yoenis Cespedes left batting practice early and was scratched from the lineup. The A’s were planning to make a formal announcement about what’s wrong with Cespedes after the game, but one reporter noted that the outfielder left the field nursing his wrist.
Here’s the revised A’s lineup for tonight:
Weeks 2B, Pennington SS, Reddick CF, Gomes DH, Inge 3B, Smith LF, Suzuki C, Barton 1B, Taylor RF.
Johnson 2B, Escobar SS, Bautista RF, Lind 1B, Encarnacion DH, Thames LF, Lawrie 3B, Rasmus CF, Arencibia C.
Brett Anderson’s rehab from Tommy John surgery takes another big step Wednesday when the left-hander throws an inning in a simulated game during extended spring training in Arizona. Melvin said Anderson would throw roughly 25 pitches. One of the hitters he could be facing is Manny Ramirez, who is just 12 days away from being able to play in minor leagues. He is eligible to join the A’s May 30.
Dallas Braden played light catch from 60 feet for the first time Monday.
And finally, more good news on the health front — lead broadcaster Ken Korach is back Tuesday night, hopefully for good. Sacramento RiverCats broadcaster Johnny Doskow did fine work while Korach was out, but losing a guy like Korach is like losing your ace. He’s one of the best in the biz. He missed the first month and change after having a knee replacement, but he was getting around quite well before the game. And he was, as always, in good voice.