Oakland A's pitcher Felix Doubront left his final spring training start after just one inning due to tightness in his left forearm, as reported by the beat writers and the TV broadcast.
It was immediately evident that something was wrong based on Doubront's velocity. He averaged around 91 mph on his fastball last season, but on Saturday he was operating in the 84-86 mph range against the Giants. After a scoreless 1st inning that featured 17 pitches and one walk, he was lifted in favor of non-roster lefty Eric Surkamp. On the CSN broadcast, pitching coach Curt Young mentioned that Doubront had felt the tightness while warming up before the game.
If Doubront has to miss time, then it will be one more challenge for a rotation that was already in flux. Jesse Hahn was optioned to Triple-A to begin the year after looking healthy-but-rusty this spring, and Doubront was slated to open as Oakland's No. 5 starter. Hahn could theoretically be recalled if Doubront hits the DL, but the A's presumably sent him down for a reason so who knows if they would be so quick to bring him back.
Surkamp looked great in emergency relief, tossing seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts while allowing only two hits and a walk; perhaps he could sneak his way into the picture until Hahn and/or Doubront are ready to return, though that scenario would involve making a 40-man roster move (note: R.J. Alvarez recently underwent surgery and could be a candidate to move to the 60-day DL). Sean Manaea is still technically in the running, though all indications are that the A's would prefer not to rush him up, especially after he experienced soreness in his leg at the end of the spring (though the last report on that setback was positive). And of course, the A's had already been connected to free agent righty Miguel Gonzalez.
Or, there is also the possibility that Doubront just had some tightness today and will be totally fine. This still might be nothing. For now, all we know is that Doubront didn't feel right today. But those are the most obvious options if this turns into something bigger.
Sounds as if Hahn would be first choice if Doubront were to go on DL. Doubront is getting an MRI now. Has had before, doesn't think serious.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) April 2, 2016
The updates continue in this next post, including word that Miguel Gonzalez has signed with the White Sox.