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Frankie Montas scratched from start Friday

Upper back tightness, day-to-day

Houston Astros v Oakland Athletics Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Oakland A’s ace Frankie Montas was scratched from his start Friday against the San Francisco Giants due to upper back tightness, per a team announcement.

The right-hander is among the best pitchers in the league so far, earning AL Player of the Week honors last week. Overall for the season his numbers look like this through four games, three of which were A’s victories:

Montas: 1.57 ERA, 23 ip, 22 Ks, 9 BB, 0 HR, 14 hits, 2.47 FIP

For now, Montas’ status is day-to-day. There is still hope he could return to pitch in this weekend series against the Giants, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle.

In his stead, rookie left-hander Jesús Luzardo will start Friday. If Montas still can’t go Saturday, then Sean Manaea would move up in his place, says Slusser, and the same would happen the next two days with Mike Fiers and Chris Bassitt if necessary. The A’s just had an off-day Thursday, which buys them a few extra days to evaluate Montas’ condition without having to make any emergency moves or put anyone out on short rest.

If Montas needs even more time, then swingman Daniel Mengden is in the bullpen and could be a logical choice to make a spot start down the road, among other in-house options. But the situation hasn’t yet reached the point of thinking about that.

The A’s will also be without another star this weekend, as outfielder Ramon Laureano will be serving his four-game suspension from a brawl last Sunday.

In better health news, reliever Jordan Weems was activated from the injured list, though he was immediately optioned down to the alternate training camp (aka minors). The 27-year-old right-hander, who has thrown a handful of solid innings this year in his first-ever MLB action, did a minimum 10-day IL stint for a strained lat.