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Oakland A’s spring injury updates: Paul Blackburn, A.J. Puk, Ryan Dull

The starting rotation can’t afford to lose any more arms.

Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s list of injuries is growing by the day, and it’s starting to become an actual problem. Since we took our last look on Tuesday, two more starting pitchers have gone down, including one that was supposed to make the Opening Day rotation.

A.J. Puk

The team shut down its best prospect on Wednesday due to biceps tightness, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle. The lefty starter topped our Community Prospect List this winter and had impressed during spring training, though he was already out of the running to make the MLB team out of camp. Fortunately, Slusser reports no major problems on Puk’s MRI — you still hold your breath any time a key pitcher’s arm is hurting, but this isn’t yet considered serious.

Paul Blackburn

The right-hander is experiencing forearm tightness, reports Julian McWilliams of The Athletic and the other insiders. This setback appears to take him out of the running for the Opening Day rotation, which likely puts Daniel Gossett in line to make the club out of spring, opines Slusser. Last-minute signing Trevor Cahill “won’t be ready [to start] for a week or two,” says Slusser.

Update: Blackburn’s MRI showed no structural damage, reports Slusser. He’ll be shut down for 10 days, says insider Jane Lee, which officially rules him out for the beginning of the season.

Ryan Dull

The reliever will open the season on the 10-day disabled list, but he is scheduled to throw an inning in a minor league game on Wednesday, reports Slusser. In that tweet, she also mentions that injured slugger Renato Nunez will play 1B in the same minor league setting.

10-day DL

Nothing new here, but it’s now official in a press release from the team. The 10-day disabled list will include the following names on Opening Day:

  • RHP Ryan Dull (shoulder)
  • C Josh Phegley (fingers)
  • DH Renato Nunez (hamstring)

Of course, the 60-day DL already has its first member in RHP Jharel Cotton.