Ryan Cook,, along with Dan Otero, still will have a spot with the A’s at some point later this season, manager Bob Melvin says.
Ryan Cook and Dan Otero, two men who have been key parts of the bullpen the last two seasons, are still working out their problems at Triple-A Nashville, but both are expected to be back with the A’s at some point.
“These are two guys we felt would be pitching late in games for us,’’ manager Bob Melvin said. “And they have in the past. It just shows you how bullpens can be in flux from year to year.
“But we do need them, both of them, and I expect both of them to be back. We have to go on what we’re hearing from our development people down there. Both are making progress but at this point, we’ve had to make some adjustments.’’
The A’s are using right-handers Evan Scribner, Edward Mujica and Fernando Rodriguez late in games, situations in the past that would have called for Cook or Otero.
Before either is recalled, progress has to be shown, the manager said.
Both men pitched Friday for Nashville, Otero throwing the sixth and seventh innings without allowing a base runner while striking out four in the Sounds’ 3-2 win over Oklahoma City. Cook, charged with protecting a 2-1 lead in the ninth, blew the save but got the win when Nashville scored twice in the bottom of the ninth.
Otero has a 1.54 ERA and Cook is at 3.52. Otero may be closer to a return thanks to decent control, two walks in 11.2 innings since being sent down on June 5. Cook has walked 10 in 23 innings total in two different stays with Nashville. Otero had a 6.39 ERA when he was sent down while Cook’s struggles have included a 10.38 ERA.
–The A’s caught a break by not catching a break Friday. Stephen Vogt was hit on the hand by a 93-mph fastball, but his right wrist was intact and he was in Saturday’s lineup against the Royals.
Vogt was the DH, which only made sense, given that his right hand was still stinging, but Melvin said that having him as the designated hitter was not an absolute necessity. He could have caught or played first base.
“He’s a tough guy,’’ Melvin said, “Today being a day game, it’s well-served for him to DH.’’
Melvin was breathing a sigh of relief that there was no break.
“At the time it looked like it could be a lot worse,’’ Melvin said. “As long as it’s not broken, there’s a good chance he’s going to be in the lineup.’’
–Not in the lineup for the second day in succession was center fielder Billy Burns, who had played 34 games in succession before getting Friday and Saturday off.
“Billy still a little tight,’’ Melvin said of Burns’ legs. “If he was a first baseman or something, we could probably play him, but his legs are a big part of his game. We’ll give him one more day and I’m confident he’ll be able to play tomorrow.’’
The injury is being described as a hip flexor.
–Pat Venditte was all smiles after being on the field playing catch for the first time since going on the disabled list two weeks or go.
The switch-pitcher only threw right-handed, his right shoulder being the reason he landed on the disabled list. He will throw both lefty and righty his next time out, although it will be a while before he actually gets on a mound.
“It felt great to be able to just play catch,’’ Venditte said. “The shoulder felt much better than two weeks ago.’’
Venditte said that when he’s tried to throw from both side when injured in the past, even throwing from the uninjured side causes problems with the muscles of the shoulders and neck pulling at the injured area.
“We’ll work slowly and not put on extra pressure.’’
–The A’s Turn Back the Clock game Saturday included a visit from longtime Charlie Finley-era broadcaster Monte Moore, first pitches thrown by John “Blue Moon’’ Odom and Bert Campaneris and Charlie O., who was looking pretty sprightly for a 50-year-old mule. Must’ve had some work done.