Oakland Athletics closing pitcher Sean Doolittle behan a rehabilitation assignment and starting pitcher Sean Nolin made his first rehabilitation start this afternoon. The 30 day limit on pitcher's rehab assignments means that Doolittle must be activated not later than June 13. Nolin's first appearance was on May 5 so he must be activated by June 4.
Sean Doolittle throws 12 pitches in inning for Stockton Ports
Closer Sean Doolittle began a rehabilitation assignment with the Class-A Advanced Stockton Ports in the seventh inning of their Thursday afternoon contest against the High Desert Mavericks, the California League affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Doolittle struck out the first two batters, Seth Spivey and Preston Beck, on six pitches, but then conceded back-to-back home runs to Alex Burg and Ryan Cordell. He retired Ronald Guzman on a pop out to third baseman Matt Chapman. Doolittle threw 12 pitches, 10 of them strikes, in his single inning.
Official scorer Paul Muyskens says Doolittle hit 90 miles per hour on the stadium gun:
Athletics general manager Billy Beane has said previously that he expects Doolittle to be ready to return by the end of May, though the 30 day limit on pitcher's rehab assignments allows Doolittle to return as late as June 13. Doolittle is returning from a very slight tear in his left shoulder that emerged just before the start of spring training.
Sean Nolin makes 3 inning start for Nashville Sounds
Left-handed starting pitcher Sean Nolin made his first rehabilitation start of the season, tossing three innings for the Triple-A Nashville Sounds in their Thursday contest visiting the Iowa Cubs. Nolin allowed just one hit and no walks while striking out three. Nolin's spring training was halted in the early going because he was not fully recovered from offseason sports hernia surgery.
Nolin may be in the mix for the rotation should the need arise, though Drew Pomeranz was excellent in his most recent outing with the A's. Previous to today's start, he made two relief appearances, pitching one inning on May 5 and two innings on May 9. He has struck out six and walked two in six innings so far.