It's been a little while since we last ran down the Oakland Athletics injury list. Let's take a look at what appears to be mostly good news coming out of A's camp. The short version:
- Josh Reddick and Coco Crisp should be good for opening day,
- Sean Doolittle continues to make progress towards not missing too much of the regular season,
- Sam Fuld is back playing in games after getting hit in the jaw by a thrown baseball at first base,
- Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin are still looking at mid-season to return from Tommy John surgery,
- Sean Nolin should be available for mid-season call ups too, and
- Alex Hassan is going to be just fine recovering from a hamstring injury.
Right fielder Josh Reddick is probably going to be ready for opening day, though he still has not appeared in a game since incurring a right oblique strain in practice on March 7. Reddick is taking two rounds of batting practice today, tweets CSN's Joe Stiglich. Reddick remains on track to play in games as soon as this weekend, writes Susan Slusser for the San Francisco Chronicle.
Reddick taking BP right now, just hit one out to right.— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) March 26, 2015
Reddick's likely availability probably pushes out a player like Billy Burns or Tyler Ladendorf, who have each been impressing manager Bob Melvin this spring. Slusser published a feature story on the versatile Ladendorf Thursday discussing his development with him, manager Bob Melvin, and his minor league manager for five of the last six years, Steve Scarsone.
Left fielder Coco Crisp should still be on the opening day roster, though he has seen only limited game action while dealing with a right elbow problem that has bothered him all spring and made him a late scratch from last Tuesday's game. The soreness has to do with bone chips that have been in that elbow for a while. Crisp received a cortisone shot sometimes in the last couple of days that will keep him out of game action this week, reports MLB.com's Jane Lee.
In that story, Bob Melvin tells Lee, "I figured we may have some setbacks here, and he's not one of the guys I'm worried about getting 50-plus plate appearances. If we can have him ready for Opening Day, that'll mean it's been a successful spring with him." Crisp has had 17 plate appearances and appeared in seven games so far.
From today's press gaggle:
Melvin says Crisp feeling a lot better today after cortisone shot for elbow. Won't play tomorrow. Sounds as if Saturday a maybe.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) March 26, 2015
Crisp is on the field doing some work, which is unexpected but must be a good sign.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) March 26, 2015
Reliever Sean Doolittle will play catch on Friday, tweets Susan Slusser, the first time throwing a ball not contained within a piece of laundry since he was diagnosed with a mild left rotator cuff tear. Doolittle had been making sock throws, which involves "letting balls travel the length of a long sanitary sock to mimic delivering a pitch," Slusser wrote in an injury report earlier this week. Girlfriend Eireann Dolan quipped:
Doolittle has been intentionally avoiding finding out what his timeline will be, though my best guess is that he should not miss much more than the minimum stay on the disabled list if all continues to go well.
Outfielder Sam Fuld missed a few games after getting hit in the left jaw by an errant throw to first on March 20.
Fuld was going to continue with a custom-fitted face protector on Wednesday, but ultimately decided against it:
Sam Fuld tried protective helmet with left jaw still in pain, said "it just didn't fit." He'll "roll the dice" and go without it this season— John Hickey (@JHickey3) March 25, 2015
Starting pitchers Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin continue to progress in their recoveries from Tommy John surgery.
Parker threw 40 pitches to hitters on Monday, tweets the Bay Area News Group's John Hickey.
The next step for Jarrod Parker is a simulated game - with no cage, and actual fielders behind him.— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) March 24, 2015
Susan Slusser reports today that Parker will throw that game tomorrow.
On Tuesday, A.J. Griffin threw "a 45-pitch side session, using all his pitches for the first time since Tommy John surgery a year ago," reports Susan Slusser.
There are no specific timelines for either player's return, so we'll continue with the vague "mid-season." Griffin was placed on the 60-day disabled list on February 27 to clear a space on the 40-man roster for outfielder Alex Hassan, claimed from the Baltimore Orioles.
While starting pitcher Sean Nolin is throwing off a mound as of March 16, according to John Hickey, he is not expected to pitch in any spring games. He may still figure into the discussion later this season if the A's need to dive into the well of pitching depth they acquired this offseason.
And finally, outfielder Alex Hassan has been out of games since March 12 with a hamstring injury. According to Susan Slusser, Hassan "will run the bases Friday and could be cleared to play if that goes well."