Daniel Mengden made the trip from Nashville to Oakland will make Saturday’s start against the Red sox.
Manager Bob Melvin said Mengden, who will be activated before the game, has pitched better that his 1-5 record and 5.73 ERA with Oakland would suggest.
The club likes his assortment of pitches and when they sent him down the last time, it was because they saw signs of midseason weariness in him. He was 8-2 with a 1.67 in his time with Triple-A Nashville.
“It’s good to get him back,” Melvin said. “He really got our attention early on and we felt like when we sent him down he was just a little bit tired. They cut down on his workload and he’s been pitching great ever since.”
There won’t be any particular pitch limit for Mengden, although the manager said it was unlikely the right-hander would be allowed to go all that much past 100 pitches.
–Head groundskeeper Clay Wood and his team had less than 24 hours to expunge the worst effects of the Raiders having played two games in a week on the Coliseum turf, and while the field couldn’t be made ready in time to let the two teams take batting practice, Wood got high marks from Melvin for making the field as playable as it was.
Melvin said he first got a look at the damage to the field just after noon. A little while after that he and Boston manager John Farrell were looking over the field at the same time.
“I told John Farrell to wait three or four hours and don’t make any assumptions,’’ Melvin said. “This guy (Wood) has a history of putting this field together and making it playable.
“The way it looked at 12:30 and the way it is right now is kind of what I expect out of Clay. It’s superhuman what these guys do.’’
Melvin joked that the part of the Raiders game he watched on television “I turned my HD off so I couldn’t see the divot marks and how the field was getting beat up. I took my glasses off.’’
–Triple-A manager Steve Scarsone was named Pacific Coast League manager of the year. The Sounds were 83-57 and in first place in their division heading into Friday’s play. Melvin marveled at the Sounds’ record given the roster depletion exercises the A’s have put them through this season. “For them to finish the way they have and for us to have taken as many players as we have from them is really a feather in his cap,’’ Melvin said of Scarsone being awarded. “That team was in Stockton two years ago, in Midland last year, there is a core group of guys we are really excited about.’’
–This weekend is the final time Red Sox’s DH David Ortiz will be in the Coliseum as an active player. The 40-year-old has the Sox in pursuit of a playoff berth while hitting .313 with31 homers and 102 RBI. “It’s been a pretty nice career,’’ Melvin said. “If you look at the numbers, you’d have to say why is he retiring right now. He continues to be that guy in the lineup that you don’t want to let beat you. You look at the numbers right now and you’d think he was 25 and not 40.’’
–Sean Doolittle came off the disabled list before the game, later than the A’s had originally hoped, but, Doolittle said, the time is right now. He said he felt “just OK’’ after his original three injury rehab games and was throwing his fastball 89-91 mph. In his last two games he was getting more swings and misses, the pitches felt like they had more life and radar clocked him at 94-95. “It’s important to get back other before the season is over,’’ he said.
–Matt McBride, who had been up with the club earlier in the season, was the first player promoted from Nashville with the roster limit going from 25 to 40 on Thursday. He’ll serve as the third catcher and may get an occasional start, but Stephen Vogt will continue to get most of the work with Bruce Maxwell backing him up.
–Starter Sonny Gray played catch before the game, throwing out to 90 feet, and said “I feel pretty good’’ when he was done. He and the A’s have some hope he will get a chance to pitch again before the season is over.
–The word is not as good for another right-handed starter, Jesse Hahn. In what the club had hoped was his final rehab start Wednesday, he allowed 11 hits and seven earned runs in 3.2 innings without any strikeouts. He came off the DL, but will stay with Nashville as the plan is for him to get one more start in what has been a troubled (1-7, 4.32 with Nashville and 2-4, 6.03 with Oakland) and injury-plagued season. “It’s been a tough year for him,’’ Melvin said. “But we still feel like there’s a bright future for him here.’’
–Starter Sean Manaea (left back strain) played catch Friday. “He felt better,’’ Melvin said. “I don’t think we’re in position to forecast when he’s going to start again. But he feels better, and that’s important.’’
–Melvin said “we have a couple of other guys we’re going to take a look at in the interim,’’ without naming names. Jharel Cotton, who threw 5.2 innings of scoreless ball for Nashville Thursday, is one and Raul Alcantara, who is 5-0 with a 1.18 ERA in eight starts for the Sounds, is the other.
–Another injured starter, Henderson Alvarez, is down to go three innings Saturday for Class-A Stockton. Melvin said no decision has been made yet as to what happens after that, but the manager has said before he’d like to see Alvarez pitch a time or two with the A’s, even if it’s just in relief, before Alvarez, coming off July 2015 shoulder surgery, heads home for the winter.
–Doolittle is now the longest tenured of the A’s on the active roster with Coco Crisp and Josh Reddick having been traded since the last time Doolittle was active. Jarrod Parker, on the DL all year, has a tenure that dates back to 2011, while Doolittle first joined the A’s in 2012.
–Eric Sogard, who has missed the entire season following knee surgery, has finally been cleared to run. And On Saturday he will take batting practice on the field for the first time. But there’s no chance he will get into a game this month, and when the season ends he likely will go join the A’s instructional league team to continue to work and maybe face live pitching.