Sonny Gray has a hip problem that could keep him out of his final start of the season for Oakland.
The A’s are unlikely to see starter Sonny Gray on the mound again this season.
He only has one start left and the A’s are long since out of contention, but he’d wanted to finish up healthy. He came out of his last start because of an increasingly nagging hip injury, and while he’s feeling better, there’s enough discomfort that the A’s are leaning strongly against having him start again.
That means, among other things, that three-fifths of the A’s original starting rotation – Gray, Jesse Hahn and Kendall Graveman – will end the season hurting. Hahn (right forearm strain) and Graveman (left oblique strain) both are on the 60-day disabled list. Of the other two original starters, Scott Kazmir is pitching for Houston and Drew Pomeranz is throwing out of the Oakland bullpen.
Kendall Graveman, out with a strained left oblique, is one of a bunch of A’s players who won’t make final road trip to Anaheim and Seattle.
The A’s don’t officially disband for the season until the completion of a two-city road trip this coming week that sees three games in Anaheim and three more in Seattle.
Even so, the A’s will be saying goodbye to a healthy chunk of their personnel Sunday.
Players on the 60-day disabled list will not travel with the team, so the next time they’re scheduled to meet their teammates is next February, depending on how the roster reworking of current general manager Billy Beane and assistant general manager David Forst goes.
Beane and Forst are supposed to get enhanced titles from owner Lew Wolff after the season is over, but it’s not clear how the breakdown of duties will go.
Among those in the clubhouse this week not expected to make the trip are starting pitchers Kendall Graveman, Jarrod Parker, Jesse Hahn, Jesse Hahn and reliever Evan Scribner.
Obviously first baseman Ike Davis, who is home in Arizona recuperating after hip surgery, and home bound starter A.J. Griffin, who has never completely recover after 2013’s tommy John surgery, will not be on Sunday night’s flight.
Catcher Carson Blair needs surgery on his left medial menisicus and his season is over.
Maybe there is something in the local water that negatively impacts Oakland catchers.
The A’s lost rookie catcher Carson Blair for the season Saturday, the club announcing that Blair needs season-ending surgery for a medial meniscus tear. Manager Bob Melvin said Blair felt some discomfort in his left knee in a start Thursday, played through it only to have an MRI Friday reveal the problem.
The A’s have already lost catcher Josh Phegley for a year to a concussion and Stephen Vogt is just back and healthy after missing the better part of three weeks after taking a vicious foul tip off his groin.
Sean Doolittle and Stephen Vogt have a mutual admiration society.
Sean Doolittle has nothing but faith in A’s catcher Stephen Vogt.
On Friday Vogt called for nothing but fastballs as Oakland’s left-handed closer was asked to get the last four outs of a 5-4 win over the Giants. The left-hander complied, and while it took 38 of them, the formula worked.
No matter, Doolittle will throw what Vogt asks.
“Vogt could put down a six (six fingers instead of one, denoting a fastball) and I’d try to throw like a submarine knuckleball or something,’’ Doolittle said. “I trust him with everything. I know how hard he works with his preparation.
Sonny Gray came out of Friday’s game with some hip pain leaving his final start of the season up in the air.
The A’s have managed to keep just one starting pitcher healthy all season, but there’s no telling if Sonny Gray will make his final start next week in Anaheim after beating the Giants 5-4 Friday.
Gray, troubled by a hip injury in his last start against Houston, gave up two runs in the first inning and kicked into gear after that. He said the hip pain flared up again in the fifth inning, and after pitching out of a jam in the sixth the A’s weren’t going to push it with their ace.
“I was pressing with my pitches in the sixth,’’ Gray said, singling out a battle with the Giants’ Marlon Byrd that resulted in a strikeout with men on second and third. “In the fifth I threw a pitch, it slipped a bit and started to be sore.
Chris Bassitt was determined to return from a shoulder injury this year, and Thursday he did.
Chris Bassitt will get one more start to show the A’s, and himself, that his right shoulder is healing.
Even after allowing six hits and three runs in three innings, Bassitt was relatively pleased with his performance. He was happy just to get back on the field after not having pitched in a game since Aug. 26 with a strain in his right shoulder.
“I felt good, maybe a little rusty,’’ Bassitt said after taking the loss with the A’s falling 8-1 to the Texas Rangers. “I got the ball up a little bit. I got a lot of weak fly balls that turned into hits. That happens.’’
The A’s had been concerned that Bassitt, one of the players brought in by the club along with catcher Josh Phegley and shortstop Marcus Semien as when Oakland traded starter Jeff Samardzija, wouldn’t be able to get back on the mound before the season was over.
Bassitt, however, harbored no such fears.
Stephen Vogt is the A’s players’ choice as the Catfish Hunter Award winner.
The awards just keep coming for A’s catcher Stephen Vogt, who added this year’s Catfish Hunter Award to his growing collection of honors.
This is the second consecutive Hunter award win for the catcher, who represented the A’s in the All-Star Game and who has been a clubhouse leader with growing stature since his arrival in Oakland in 2013.
Vogt, who is scheduled to make his first start behind the plate since Sept. 6 Friday night against the Giants, was honored in a vote of his teammates. The award has been given annually since 2004 to the A’s player who best exemplifies Hall of Fame Jim “Catfish’’ Hunter through his play and his conduct.
Stephen Vogt missed 12 games with one of the worst foul tip shots to the groin you are ever likely to see on a baseball field. I hadn’t actually seen the video until Tuesday night, and it was hard to watch. You’d like to say you feel Vogt’s pain, but … uh, no thanks.
“I don’t wish that on my worst enemy,” Vogt said. “It was the worst 10 days of my life, and I don’t ever want to go through it again.”
But he’s finally getting back to normal. After a couple of games at designated hitter, Vogt was at first base against the Rangers and he could be getting back behind the plate sometime this weekend, perhaps for Barry Zito’s momentous Saturday start against old pal Tim Hudson.
W”e’re pretty much healed, we’re glad to be back in there,” he said. I want to play every day. I’m glad that it wasn’t anything more than it was. I’m glad it was a two-week thing and not a life thing. I’m very blessed and lucky that it wasn’t anything worse.”
Vogt also has been prepping for getting behind the plate both mentally and physically. He caught what he said was an hour’s worth of bullpen sessions Tuesday, because the biggest challenge is overcoming the psychological aspects of the hit he took. You get a little gun-shy after what he went through, and he wants to break through those mental barrier.
Sean Nolin has a couple of starts left to re-state his case for the A’s 2016 season.
Sean Nolin got relatively high marks from his manager Tuesday night.
He didn’t give himself the same grades, however.
Nolin, who is in a late-season audition that will help determine if he’s in teh running for a spot in the Oakland rotation next spring, gave up five runs in five innings against Texas.
And while he didn’t take the loss in an 8-6 A’s defeat, he did let a 4-1 lead slip away in the fifth and sixth innings.
Barry Zito has been promoted by Oakland to finish out the season with the A’s
There is a crack in the door, however, for Zito to maybe get one special start.
The A’s called up Zito Wednesday was called up by Oakland Wednesday with the A’s facing a shortage of pitching. Reliever Edward Mujica’s season ended with a strained right hamstring Sunday and Wednesday’s starter Jesse Chavez has to be scratched with a rib fracture.
General manager Billy Beane told this newspaper that while Zito was called up because the A’s pitching has “literally gotten decimated,’’ he has thought some too about a possible matchup a Tim Hudson-Zito matchup when Hudson and the Giants come to the Coliseum Sept. 25-27. Hudson and Zito, along with Mark Mulder, comprised the A’s Big Three rotation a decade ago.