The Oakland A’s activated Khris Davis from the disabled list on Thursday, but the team’s DL is still quite long. Here’s a look at how things are progressing since our previous update last Friday.
Before we discuss the existing injuries, there’s a new one to report. Starting pitcher Kendall Graveman is currently in Triple-A sorting out his poor April performance, and his fortunes got even worse when he was placed on the minor league disabled list on Thursday. It’s not yet clear what’s wrong, but one way or other he’s on Nashville’s 7-day DL.
On the brighter side, two other pitchers returned to the mound on Thursday for minor league rehab appearances. Paul Blackburn started for High-A Stockton and threw 62 pitches. He got hit hard (3⅔ ip, 3 runs, 8 hits, 1 K, 1 BB), but that’s almost completely irrelevant in this context; all that matters is that he was healthy enough to pitch in a real professional game, which is a major step toward returning to an Oakland staff that needs all the depth it can get. Blackburn is recovering from a forearm strain that mercifully hasn’t turned out to be a precursor for Tommy John surgery.
Meanwhile, up in Triple-A, reliever Liam Hendriks tossed a scoreless inning in his first game back from having a cyst removed from his hip. He only needed 10 pitches to retire all three batters he faced, including a strikeout of catcher Juan Centeno* who has seen MLB action for the Rangers this year. Hendriks reached 95 mph with his fastball, reports Nashville announcer Jeff Hem.
* Aside: Centeno has six career MLB homers in parts of six big league seasons. Two were off Corey Kluber and two were off Justin Verlander. Pretty much everyone else has gotten him out.
Two more relievers are headed in the right direction from shoulder injuries. Righty Santiago Casilla “feels like he’s turned a corner” and could return after a minimum DL stint, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle. He would be eligible to return as early as Tuesday. As for lefty Ryan Buchter, he threw a bullpen session on Thursday as previously expected, says Slusser.
Next up is starter Andrew Triggs (triceps strain, nerve irritation), who recently began throwing (via insider Jane Lee).
Andrew Triggs began a throwing program today, playing catch for the first time since going on the DL.— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) May 30, 2018
And finally, there’s outfielder Boog Powell. Last time the word was that he’d returned to baseball activities, and now he’s graduated up to taking batting practice (via Slusser).
Boog Powell is taking batting practice for the first time since he went on the DL.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) May 29, 2018
There’s not much to report on the other two members of the DL. RHP Jharel Cotton is still out for the season after TJS, and lefty Brett Anderson hasn’t made progress with his shoulder problem.
Best of luck to all the injured A’s in their recoveries!