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Daniel Mengden will get Saturday’s start for A’s, who will spend weekend playing on turf cut up by two NFL games

Daniel Mengden will get called up by the A's to start Saturday vs. the Red Sox.

Daniel Mengden will get called up by the A’s to start Saturday vs. the Red Sox.

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.

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A’s scrambling in rotation with Sonny Gray sidelined

Sonny Gray landed on the disabled list Sunday with a forearm strain, leaving the A's scrambling for starting pitching.

Sonny Gray landed on the disabled list Sunday with a forearm strain, leaving the A’s scrambling for starting pitching.

The A’s have lost another starting pitcher to the disabled list, ace Sonny Gray landing there Sunday morning with the A’s calling up right-handed pitcher Chris Smith from Triple-A Nashville.

Gray came out of Saturday’s 4-0 loss to the Cubs after five innings in which he’d allowed two runs on five hits with what was diagnosed as a strained right forearm. It’s the second time on the disabled list this year for the right-hander, who had a flexor injury earlier in what has been his worst season – 5-11 with a Major League-worst 5.74 ERA.

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Dillon Overton to be fifth rookie to make a start for A’s

Lefty Dillon Overton will make his Major League debut Saturday starting against the Angels.

Lefty Dillon Overton will make his Major League debut Saturday starting against the Angels.

Dillon Overton will be the fifth rookie to make his first Major League appearance and start for the A’s this year when he takes the ball for Oakland Saturday against the Angels.

Rookies having already made the jump are Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Andrew Triggs and Zach Neal, although it says something about the A’s mad scramble to find starting pitching in the middle of having an entire starting rotation on the disabled list that Triggs and Neal are seen as relievers and simply got starts because the A’s needed somebody, anybody.

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Billy Beane trying to find a fix for A’s injury woes

Billy Beane has his hands full looking for solutions to the A's injury epidemic.

Billy Beane has his hands full looking for solutions to the A’s injury epidemic.

It’s a given that medical dramas will always have a strong appeal to television viewers.

It’s less so for watchers of baseball. Hospital trips get in the way of plot lines rather than sustaining them. The injured party may be the center of attention on the small screen, but the player is simply out of the picture in baseball.

Nowhere is that more evident than in Oakland, where the A’s are in the words of executive vice president Billy Beane “living under the shadow of this injury epidemic.’’

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A’s injury tsunami threatening to engulf 2016 season

Eric Sogard is having trouble believing the A's injury woes just aren't slowing down.

Eric Sogard is having trouble believing the A’s injury woes just aren’t slowing down.

The good news for the A’s is that catcher Stephen Vogt, after being hit hard by a pitch on the right wrist Friday, is only expected to miss one game.

A’s manager Bob Melvin said the veteran hopes to be in the lineup for Sunday’s series finale with the Yankees.

The bad news is, as second baseman Eric Sogard puts it, “there are too many guys joining me on the list.’’ That would be the disabled list, where the A’s have a dozen injured players – half a major league roster – parked.

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Liam Hendriks likes the look of current A’s bullpen

A's Liam Hendriks has been slow to recover from elbow injury, but he likes what he sees from rest of bullpen.

A’s Liam Hendriks has been slow to recover from elbow injury, but he likes what he sees from rest of bullpen.

Liam Hendriks’ right elbow isn’t responding to treatment as quickly as Hendriks and the A’s had hoped.

As it happens, though, that’s all right, because as Hendriks puts it “the way the bullpen is going right now, they’re not exactly missing me.’’

In the last six games entering Thursday’s start of the series with the Yankees, A’s relievers have allowed just four earned runs in their last 16.1 innings, a 2.20 ERA that has corresponded with the A’s winning five of those six.

It wasn’t always thus, however. When Hendriks went to the disabled list with what he calls a pinch in his right triceps on May 8, both he and the A’s pen as a whole were in trouble. Hendriks had gotten off to a terrible start to the season with an 8.27 ERA in 11 games.

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A’s Jesse Hahn surprised, disappointed to be sent down; rainout, doubleheader are factors with club making change

Jesse Hahn got the news he as being sent back to Triple-A for the short term.

Jesse Hahn got the news he as being sent back to Triple-A for the short term.

A’s starter Jesse Hahn was taken by surprise when told he was being sent back down to Triple-A Nashville.

Oakland called up reliever J.B. Wendelken, who was due to arrive at Camden Yards just before the first pitch Sunday afternoon.

Hahn, the losing pitcher in Saturday’s Game 2 with Baltimore claiming a 5-2 win, had only made two starts , and in the first he didn’t allow a run.

It was the weather and the A’s schedule that conspired against Hahn. He and Rich Hill are both due to pitch in five days, which is an off-day Thursday while Oakland is between the Boston and Tampa Bay on this road trip.

“Mostly it’s due to the fact we’re going to need a starter before Jesse pitches again,’’ manager Bob Melvin said. “The rain threw us for a little loop that way. It happens during the course of a season. And we need another arm for today. You can always use an extra arm after a doubleheader.

Hill, who has been on a nice roll, will be held back one day to pitch Friday in Tampa, and if Hahn was kept around, he’d wind up going on six days’ rest next Saturday. The A’s want to keep him going on as regular a schedule as possible, and that worked again Hahn sticking around for the moment.

“I didn’t ask too many questions, but I’m sure the doubleheader had something to do with it,’’ Hahn said. “Obviously I’m not happy about it, but all I can do is keep my head high and hope that the next time I’m here I stick.’’

Meanwhile the A’s still need a starting pitcher for Wednesday, a game that would have belonged to Hill had not Friday’s game been rained out. Left-hander Eric Surkamp remains by far the most likely candidate. The 6-foot-5 veteran made four April starts before being sent down with an 0-2 record, 5.59 ERA and 1.914 WHIP.

The A’s have ruled out inserting right-hander Henderson Alvarez in to the Wednesday slot. On his way back from last July’s shoulder surgery, Alvarez is down to make two more minor league starts, and the A’s aren’t willing to change that.

“We aren’t going to rush him, as much as we liked like to have him back here,’’ Melvin said of Alvarez, a 2014 All-Star while pitching with the Marlins. “There’ll be at least two more rehab starts.’’

 

NOTES

–Wendelken is likely up for just three days and will be sent back to Nashville when the A’s call up Surkamp to make Wednesday’s start. Melvin said it was good to have an extra reliever a day after a doubleheader, but the A’s bullpen is mostly rested.

–Khris Davis got a day off in part because Melvin is looking for ways to get Mark Canha in the lineup. Canha had a big year for the A’s as a rookie with 16 homers and 70 RBI. But he was playing three-quarters of the time in 2015. The current season has seen him play in just 15 of the A’s first 31 games, and only eight of those have been starts. “It’s tough have as quality a player as Mark Canha is sitting around for this long,’’ Melvin said. “He’s a guy who can be impactful for us, and we need to find some games for him.’’

–When Jarrod Parker starts his injury rehabilitation a little later this summer, he may do it in Nashville rather than at the A’s facilities in Arizona. Parker has spent the bulk of the last three seasons since his 2013 Tommy John surgery in Arizona and Melvin said “I think he might be a little tired of that.’’ Parker has recently seen the surgeon who operated on his arm in the spring, Dr. Neal ElAttrache. Melvin said he believed Parker was now out of the post-surgery brace his right arm had been in.

 

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Henderson Alvarez closing in on a spot in A’s rotation

Starter Henderson Alvarez is probably two more minor league starts from being in the A’s rotation.

Alvarez threw 4.2 innings for Triple-A Nashville, giving up one run on three hits and three walks. The control wasn’t quite what the A’s had been looking for, but Oakland manager Bob Melvin said the reports he got were that the strike zone was tight.

“He felt good,’’ Melvin said. “It’ll be five days and 75 pitches, and then after seven and 90. Maybe those will be his last two.’’

After that, the 2014 National League All-Star with the Marlins could fit nicely into a rotation that has seen three potential starting pitchers, Jarrod Parker, Felix Doubront and Chris Bassitt, out for the season needing surgery.  Alvarez is becoming available 10 months after having shoulder surgery.

The most recent is Bassitt, who underwent Tommy John surgery in Cincinnati Friday morning and he came out of it pleased.

“Surgery was a success,’’ Bassitt said in a tweet. “Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers.’’

The surgery, performed by Dr. Timothy Kremchek, involved an ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction with an ipsilateral palmaris longus graft, the ipsilateral palmaris longus being a small tendon near the flexor carpi.

A statement put out by the A’s said Dr. Kremchek was pleased with the surgery and the outcome of the procedure. Bassitt will return to Oakland on Sunday and his rehab is due to start Monday.

Bassitt began the season in the A’s rotation, where he spent about half of the 2015 season. He was 0-2 with a 6.11 ERA and .294 opponents’ batting average, but before his right elbow started to trouble him he’d been effective, 0-0 but with a 2.79 ERA and .213 opponents’ batting average.

 

–Saying that at this point in the season “no one is 100 percent healthy,’’ Danny Valencia is back on the A’s roster and in the starting lineup for Friday.

With heavy rains having inundated Baltimore for most of the day, the Camden Yards infield doesn’t figure to be in prime shape, but Valencia, back after missing 15 days on the disabled list thanks to a hamstring issue, isn’t concerned for the extra strain the wet grounds might put on a not-quite-perfectly healthy left hamstring.

Valencia said “you can’t go out and play’’ with concerns like that on his mind, and said he’s ready to go after playing games with Class-A Stockton Monday and Wednesday as part of an injury rehabilitation assignment.

“We’ve have all played in the rain before,’’ Valencia said. “Nothing is going to stop me.’’

He said he’s anxious to see if he can help turn around the fortunes for the A’s, who come into the series having lost a season-high four consecutive games.

Melvin had him in the lineup batting seventh both because Khris Davis has hit well lately in the cleanup spot but because the manager wants to ease Valencia back in.

 

NOTES

–Coco Crisp is back with the A’s after missing Wednesday’s game while visiting a doctor for a non-baseball issue. The time off has given his heel injury time to clear up, although Melvin said he would have liked to have had Crisp have dry grounds to he could do some pregame running.

–Billy Butler got hit second consecutive start against a right-handed pitcher Friday. He had two RBI Wednesday in a game started by Felix Hernandez, and he was in Friday because in 35 plate appearances against the Orioles Ubaldo Jimenez he has 10 hits and six walks, good for a .457 on-base percentage. It’s just the fifth start against a right-hander for the right-handed Butler this year but “we are trying to get our best matchups,’’ Melvin said.

–The A’s were among the approximately two dozen teams taking a look at Tim Lincecum as the free agent pitcher had a Friday showcase. Melvin said he’d seen Lincecum at his best when he pitched for the Giants against Melvin’s Arizona Diamondbacks and said depending on what kind of velocity he shows, the right-hander “could be very impactful. Being from the Bay Area, you can’t help but pull for a guy like that.’’

–The day off for Chris Coghlan was his first non-start since April 16. He’d taken over for Valencia at third base while he was on the disabled list.

 

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Alvarez keeps inching closer to being ready for rotation; Doubront’s Tommy John surgery seems to go well

Henderson Alvarez had a good 30 pitches throwing to hitters in Stockton Monday. He'd like to be in A's rotation by next month.

Henderson Alvarez had a good 30 pitches throwing to hitters in Stockton Monday. He’d like to be in A’s rotation by next month.

Will Henderson Alvarez be in the A’s rotation a month from now?

There’s no telling, but Alvarez is optimistic after throwing 30 pitches against hitters in Stockton Monday.

“It felt good, real good,’’ Alvarez said on returning to the A’s for Tuesday’s workout. “I threw all my pitches, and they all felt good.’’

The A’s signed Alvarez as a free agent shortly after the Miami Marlins made him a free agent by not tendering him a contract in December. They apparently weren’t willing to gamble on his health, but the A’s took a flier who was a 2014 National League All-Star with a 12-7 record, 2.64 ERA and 1.235 WHIP.

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Gray, Vogt unite for 1st time this spring in win over Giants

Stephen Vogt got back behind the plate for the first time this spring with Sonny Gray on mound for A's.

Stephen Vogt got back behind the plate for the first time this spring with Sonny Gray on mound for A’s.

Catcher Stephen Vogt and pitcher Sonny Gray stand to be the starting battery for the A’s come opening night against the White Sox April 4 in the Coliseum.

For the first time this spring the two worked with each other Monday night against the San Francisco Giants. Gray pitched 4.2 innings and Vogt started behind the plate for the first time this spring in a 10-3 win over San Francisco.

“It was awesome to get out there for the first time,” Vogt said. “There was a lot of energy, a lot of adrenalin. Obviously being under the lights, against the Giants with Sonny helps. It just felt great to get back there and get started.”

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