0

Jharel Cotton’s long trip from Virgin Islands to join A’s starting rotation plus a double dose of Alcantara

Jharel Cotton, who came to the A's in the Josh Reddick-Rich Hill trade with the Dodgers, makes his MLB debut Wednesday.

Jharel Cotton, who came to the A’s in the Josh Reddick-Rich Hill trade with the Dodgers, makes his MLB debut Wednesday.

When Jharel Cotton was 7 and hanging around his house in the Virgin Islands watching TV, he said his stepdad told him he needed to get outside

He did as told, ran into a local baseball game, liked what he saw and said he wanted to play, too. On Wednesday, 17 years later, he makes his Major League debut as the starting pitcher for the A’s in the series finale against the Angels.

The 5-11, 195-pound right-hander moved to the Virginia when he was 16 in order to play a higher level of high school baseball and eventually made it to East Carolina University where the Dodgers made him a 20th-round pick in the 2012 draft.

He was making some progress toward to Dodgers rotation this year when he got word that changed everything.

Continue Reading

0

Sonny Gray unlikely to start for A’s again this season

It's increasingly unlikely Sonny Gray will be able to start again this year for the A's.

It’s increasingly unlikely Sonny Gray will be able to start again this year for the A’s.

It’s becoming increasingly likely that A’s ace Sonny Gray won’t be starting again this season for Oakland.

Gray, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 7, the day after feeling a right forearm strain while facing the Chicago Cubs, said Monday he wanted to get word from the training staff when he might be able to start throwing again.

That being said, Gray knows it won’t be any time soon. And given that the minor league season ends Sept. 5 and with it any chance to go out on an injury rehabilitation assignment, Gray’s hopes for getting another start are flickering.

“I’m hoping; I’d like to get out there again,’’ Gray said before Monday’s series opener with the Indians. “But I’m not ready to throw now. I know that even if they cleared me to throw when I go in there to talk to them, I’d be forcing it by going out there today.

Continue Reading

0

Butler, Valencia fined; Butler headed to 7-day concussion disabled list after weekend clubhouse fight in Chicago

Billy Butler and Danny Valencia have both been fined and Butler is headed to DL after a weekend fight.

Billy Butler and Danny Valencia have both been fined and Butler is headed to DL after a weekend fight.

DH Billy Butler and first baseman/outfielder Danny Valencia were both handed fines by the A’s Monday after a Friday fight in Chicago between the two raised questions as to whether or not the two men could peacefully coexist in the Oakland clubhouse.

“He’s my teammate,’’ Valencia said when asked about his relationship with Butler. “I have respect for him I think he has respect for me.’’

Before Monday, the lockers occupied by Butler and Valencia were both in the northeast corner of the Oakland clubhouse. Butler’s locker has been moved to the far south side, as far away as could be located from Valencia’s.

Continue Reading

1

With Overton down, A’s are going to need a Sunday starter; they say Rich Hill won’t be ready to go by then

With lefty Dillon Overton having been sent down, A's will need someone else to start Sunday vs. Rays.

With lefty Dillon Overton having been sent down, A’s will need someone else to start Sunday vs. Rays.

The A’s sent down Tuesday’s starter, Dillon Overton, to get infielder Arismendy Alcantara back, and immediately gave him Wednesday’s start at second base.

The A’s needed the depth in the infield with Tyler Ladendorf having been sent down Tuesday, but the move complicates the A’s rotation near-term.

Oakland will need to fill Overton’s slot on Sunday against Tampa Bay, and the only thing they A’s are sure of is that Rich Hill, the man Overton was subbing for, won’t be ready to pitch come Sunday.

“I don’t see that happening at this point,’’ manager Bob Melvin said of getting Hill back for the Rays. “We’ll have to do something different.’’

Continue Reading

0

A’s lefty Sean Doolittle a little weary, but he’s not hurting

Sean Doolittle has a little pain in his shoulder, but he's hoping to pitch in a day or so.

Sean Doolittle has a little pain in his shoulder, but he’s hoping to pitch in a day or so.

When A’s manager Bob Melvin didn’t go to lefty Sean Doolittle Tuesday on a night when Oakland was running desperately short of help, red flags immediately went up.

After all, Doolittle missed five months last year with injury problems. His health is a matter of prime concern to an Oakland bullpen that has been getting excessive work.

Continue Reading

0

A’s go with Eric Surkamp Friday; will Dillon Overton be next?

 

Eric Surkamp moves up from Saturday and will start Friday vs. Angels.

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.

 

NOTES

–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.’’

 

0

Rich Hill won’t throw off mound for a week thanks to injury;

Rich Hill will not throw off a mound for a week as precaution against groin injuryi

Rich Hill will not throw off a mound for a week as precaution against groin injuryi

Rich Hill and the A’s got some good news from the MRI he had Thursday, but it was relative – he won’t do any mound work for six or seven days, and there’s no telling how much time beyond that will be needed before he starts a game for Oakland.

Hill hasn’t pitched since suffering a groin injury on May 29. He was getting better before the same problem flared up during a bullpen session Wednesday that led to the MRI. And that led to a stint on the disabled list retroactive to May 30.

While he won’t throw off a mound, Hill will continue to play catch on flat ground over the course of the next week.

Continue Reading