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Daniel Mengden exits start early with sprained foot

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Yet another injury to an Oakland A’s starting pitcher.

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland A’s lost yet another starting pitcher to injury on Saturday. Daniel Mengden exited the game after just two innings with a sprained right foot, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle.

This is not the first time Mengden’s right foot has bothered him. He had surgery before the 2017 season to repair a fracture of his medial tibial sesamoid bone, and Slusser notes that the same foot bothered him as far back as college. Having said all that, though, Slusser followed up to report that Mengden’s removal on Saturday was precautionary and that the “sprain is not in the area of his foot where he had surgery last year.” It remains to be seen whether he’ll be able to make his next start.

On the bright side, the A’s went on to win the game even without Mengden. He spotted the White Sox a 5-2 lead through two innings, but six relievers* teamed up to finish off the day and Oakland’s lineup staged a successful comeback for a 7-6 victory. This is the fourth time this season that an A’s starter has left early due to injury, all on the road, and each time they won anyway (also Andrew Triggs and Brett Anderson against the Blue Jays, and Daniel Gossett against the Royals).

* Props to Saturday’s emergency relief crew: Pagan, Hatcher, Casilla, Trivino, Petit, Treinen

Oakland already has a full rotation’s worth of starters on the disabled list (Cotton, Cahill, Gossett, Triggs, Anderson), plus several more on the shelf in Triple-A (Graveman, Puk, Holmes). The remaining healthy hurlers include Sean Manaea, Frankie Montas, and Paul Blackburn, with Blackburn himself only recently returning from a two-month stint on the DL. Chris Bassitt was sent back to the minors on Saturday but is also healthy.

In other pitching injury news, Slusser reports that Andrew Triggs hit a setback in his recovery from arm nerve irritation and is unlikely to return before the All-Star break (in other words, at least another month). On the bright side, Slusser also mentions that lefty reliever Ryan Buchter will return from the DL on Monday after missing nearly two months with a shoulder issue.

Regardless of what happens with Mengden, veteran journeyman Edwin Jackson will come up to make a start against the Tigers next week, reports Slusser. Oakland already needed to call up a new arm after Friday’s doubleheader skewed their normal rest schedule, so this move doesn’t necessarily say anything about Mengden’s status. A spot will have to be cleared on the 40-man roster to add Jackson, with Slusser suggesting that Triggs could now be a candidate to transfer to the 60-day DL. When Jackson takes the mound he’ll tie an MLB record by appearing for his 13th team, matching former A’s reliever Octavio Dotel.

Update on the state of the pitching depth, with Jackson and Buchter included provisionally in italics:

Oakland A's pitching depth
MLB AAA
Starters

Sean Manaea (L)
Daniel Mengden (R)??
Paul Blackburn (R)
Frankie Montas (R)
Edwin Jackson (R)

Relievers

Blake Treinen (R)
Lou Trivino (R)
Yusmerio Petit (R)
Emilio Pagan (R)
Santiago Casilla (R)
Chris Hatcher (R)
Liam Hendriks (R)
Josh Lucas (R)
Ryan Buchter (L)
AAA starters

Chris Bassitt (R)*
James Naile (R)
Eric Jokisch (L)
Ben Bracewell (R)

AAA relievers

Ruan Dull (R)*
Danny Coulombe (L)*
Carlos Ramirez (R)*
Bobby Wahl (R)
J.B Wendelken (R)
Jake Sanchez (R)
Kyle Finnegan (R)
Raul Alcantara (R)
Jeremy Bleich (L)
Dean Kiekhefer (L)

* = on 40-man roster

10-day DL: RHP Daniel Gossett (elbow), RHP Trevor Cahill (Achilles), RHP Andrew Triggs (arm nerve), LHP Brett Anderson (shoulder), LHP Ryan Buchter (shoulder)

60-day DL: RHP Jharel Cotton (TJS)

AAA injuries: RHP Kendall Graveman (forearm), LHP A.J. Puk (TJS), RHP Grant Holmes (shoulder)