The Oakland A’s disabled list has gotten long again, but several of its members are on roads to recovery that could potentially get them back in action during the season’s final month.
First up is outfielder Matt Joyce. The 34-year-old has missed most of the season to a strained back, which has landed him on the DL twice. Even in the 63 games he managed to play, he didn’t hit much. However, he finally appears to be on the right track, having played six rehab games for Triple-A Nashville. He’s yet to start back-to-back days, and he’s only 3-for-20 with a double in that time, but the point is he’s back in action for now and remains a candidate to rejoin the A’s sometime in September.
UPDATE: Literally within 60 seconds of publishing this article, Joyce was activated from the DL.
The rest of the injuries involve the pitching staff. Let’s start with the bad news: Sean Manaea, who was diagnosed with rotator cuff tendinitis, might be done for the year. Manager Bob Melvin gave it “a less than 50 percent chance Manaea returns before the end of the season,” via Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle. Slusser’s full writeup can be found here. The lefty leads the team in both starts and innings by a wide margin — his 27 starts are 10 more than anyone else, and his 160⅔ frames are 65 more than the runner-up.
On the bright side, some other arms might find their way back. Brett Anderson, who went on the DL on Tuesday two days after Manaea, is dealing with ulnar nerve irritation, reports insider Jane Lee. However, on Friday he was feeling better enough to play catch, which Melvin classified as being ahead of schedule.
Two more starters are also throwing. Andrew Triggs has been out since May with his own arm nerve issue, but he was on the field Friday playing catch. Melvin said that Triggs will pitch a simulated game on Saturday in Stockton, reports Lee, with an eye on returning to Oakland’s bullpen before the end of the season.
Meanwhile, Paul Blackburn is not as close to his own comeback. He was transferred to the 60-day DL on Friday to make room for a new trade acquisition, but he was also throwing on the field before the game. Melvin mentioned that it might be a stretch for Blackburn to return as a starter this year.
Summary of MLB disabled list (plus Kendall Graveman):
Joyce: on rehab assignment (AAA)
- Triggs: throwing simulated game on Saturday
- Anderson: resumed throwing
- Blackburn: resumed throwing
- Manaea: likely out for season but not for sure
- Smolinski: likely out for season (blood clot)
- Cotton: out for season (TJS)
- Graveman: out for season, and likely 2019 (TJS)
- Gossett: out for season, and likely 2019 (TJS)
Best of luck to all the injured A’s in their recoveries!