The Oakland Athletics should soon be as close to full strength as they’ve been all season with the impending returns of right fielder Josh Reddick, starting pitcher Sean Manaea and starting pitcher Rich Hill.
Josh Reddick remains on track to return Monday from a broken thumb, notes John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group. Reddick has played four rehab games for Triple-A Nashville, two in right field, and gone 1-for-17. Reddick was making an All-Star bid after starting the year .322/.394/.466 before injuring his thumb stealing second base on May 19. Max Muncy has been taking most of the plate appearances in right field of late, and he might be a candidate to be return to Nashville when Reddick is activated.
Update 11:27 AM: At Bob Melvin’s pre-game press conference, he tells A’s beat writers Reddick is playing one extra game at DH to get more comfortable at the plate, and he might return on Tuesday instead of Monday:
It's unclear if Reddick would join #Athletics tomorrow or not with Nashville playing at night. Might be Tuesday instead.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) June 26, 2016
Sean Manaea should return to the A’s rotation on Wednesday, manager Bob Melvin tells the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser, after making a 62-pitch rehab start for the Stockton Ports on Friday. On Saturday, the A’s optioned Eric Surkamp to Triple-A Nashville to call up Dillon Overton, keeping Zach Neal in the bullpen after Surkamp went just 3 2/3 innings on Friday. Neal will probably return to Nashville on Wednesday.
Rich Hill will make a rehab start with the Stockton Ports on Monday, Slusser also reports, with the A’s hoping he’ll return from his groin strain to start for the A’s on Saturday. Hill has been out since leaving his start on May 29.
The A’s will have an interesting decision on who to demote from the rotation once Hill is activated. Kendall Graveman has struggled this year, though he he put up two straight quality starts against the Angels. Rookie Daniel Mengden has a 3.00 ERA after three starts and Dillon Overton earned the win in his debut.
Also in Slusser’s report, Henderson Alvarez will be “shut down for three more weeks” after getting a platelet-rich plasma injection for his shoulder. Two attempts at rehab have been aborted with Alvarez one start away from being activated after he experienced shoulder soreness. Alvarez was moved to the 60-day disabled list to open a space on the 40-man roster for Dillon Overton, though he can be freely activated anyway as all the time he has already been out counts against the minimum period.