We’ve reached the point in the spring where the Oakland A’s injury report is less about the initial aches and pains of camp and more about issues that will actually affect the season. We took our last look on Saturday, but now the disabled list is officially getting its first entry of the year.
The first big loss of the season is pitcher Jharel Cotton, who will require Tommy John surgery to fix his elbow. The A’s announced his placement on the 60-day DL on Monday night, to make room for the signing of Trevor Cahill to replace him. This was mostly expected after the news of Cotton’s sprained UCL, but now we know for sure. Best of luck for his recovery, and we look forward to seeing him again in 2019!
Two more players will begin the year on the 10-day disabled list, reports Julian McWilliams of The Athletic, though they haven’t officially been added yet.
One is prospect Renato Nunez, who has missed most of the spring so far after pulling a hamstring in his second Cactus League game back in Feburary. Nunez is out of minor league options, meaning there was a good chance he would be lost if he didn’t make the Opening Day 25-man squad, so the forfeiture of his audition opportunity is particularly costly for him.
However, there may be a small blessing in disguise here. Starting on the DL with such a minor injury delays the need to make a decision on Nunez’s future — that gives more time to prove himself when he returns to action on a minor league rehab assignment, and time for any unexpected hole to open on the MLB roster that might open a new door for him. In terms of his recovery, he was out running the bases on Monday, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle.
The other DL entry is reliever Ryan Dull, who has missed most of the Cactus League with a shoulder problem. He was unlikely to make the team out of spring, especially since he does have minor league options remaining, so this doesn’t really affect the Opening Day picture. Slusser reported that Dull was scheduled to throw to hitters on Monday.
This news is a couple days old, but Phegley broke two fingers on his right hand and will miss multiple weeks, reports insider Jane Lee. The injury to his ring and pinky fingers was incurred while catching on Saturday, when he was hit by a pitch in the 9th inning, reports Slusser. Fortunately for the A’s, this happened after they’d already beefed up their catching corps by signing Jonathan Lucroy, meaning that Phegley was unlikely to make the team out of spring anyway.
There’s nothing wrong yet with the A’s latest signing, but I’m just getting this section established so that it’s here when we need it.