Eric Surkamp moves up from Saturday and will start Friday vs. Angels.
The A’s will move up Eric Surkamp from Saturday to Friday to start against the Angels, for the moment leaving the starting slot Saturday open.
Oakland is expected to go with rookie Dillon Overton, who is 7-0 with a 1.40 ERA in his last seven starts. The left-hander’s regular day to pitch would be Saturday, and Surkamp’s fifth day would be Friday.
Manager Bob Melvin said the club would have an official announcement after Thursday’s game.
If Overton, who is 8-4, 3.01 with 1.28 WHIP in 14 games, 13 starts, for the Sounds, he will be the fifth rookie to make his first Major League start for the A’s this season, joining Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Andrew Triggs and Zach Neal.
Like Manaea and Mengden, Overton is one of the A’s highly touted prospects, being the second-round pick of the club in the 2013 draft. He didn’t pitch above Class A until the middle of last year, but ever since he’s been on a special trajectory.
And like Manaea and Mengden, Overton is a pitcher the A’s didn’t plan on having join them this season. He’s only had half a season at Double-A and the same at Triple-A, and at 24, perhaps could use more time working on his game.
If the A’s decide to go with Neal or recalled Jesse Hahn to make the start instead, it will be because they don’t want to have Overton up for just a start or two knowing that Rich Hill and Manaea are due off the disabled list in the next 10 days or so.
–Henderson Alvarez met with orthopedist Dr. James Andrews for a second day Thursday. Twice Alvarez has been one start away from rejoining the A’s rotation, and twice shoulder problems have cropped up. Alvarez reportedly is feeling good again, but the two previous shutdowns suggest something is going on in his shoulder. “It’s a confusing situation,’’ Melvin said.
–Max Muncy got the start as the No. 2 hitter in the lineup. “We just trying to shake it up a bit right now,’’ Melvin said. “We’ve been a little stagnant offensively.’’ Muncy is hitting .250 in just 24 at-bats, but has impressed Melvin both offensively and defensively. Muncy said he spent the majority of his time at Triple-A batting second, so while this will be his first time there this year “it’s not like I have to learn a new approach.’’
–Hill will throw a bullpen Friday, then is down to throw Monday for Stockton in Modesto, after which he hopes to be back in the rotation. “I’m feeling as good as ever,’’ Hill said, his groin injury a distant memory. He still has hopes of an All-Star Game call, being that his’ 8-3 and with a 2.25 ERA. He’s tied for fifth in the league in wins and would rank third in the AL in ERA if he had enough innings to qualify. He could get three more starts before the All-Star Game, and “that would be a dream,’’ he said.
–Getting his first start with the A’s Thursday was Arismendy Alcantara, who played both infield and outfield in the minor leagues and got the start at second base a day after stealing a base as a pinch-running Wednesday. “What we saw was a blur,’’ Melvin said. “He couldn’t wait to run. We actually had a hold on him for a little bit.’’ Alcantara was 26-for-26 as the leading Pacific Coast League base stealer before getting called up.
–Right fielder Josh Reddick played in one of two Nashville games in a Thursday doubleheader and is on track to return to the A’s Monday in San Francisco.
–Jim Eppard, the minor league hitting coordinator, joined the club Thursday for the Angels series. He hasn’t seen the club since spring training, so Melvin will wait to hear what Eppard sees happening. “It’s nice to get feedback,’’ Melvin said. “He’s a guy who saw us when we left. When you are part of it each and every day, sometimes you don’t see what someone who hasn’t been here for a while.’’