The Oakland A’s are more than a week into their 2021 Cactus League schedule, but they’ll need to wait a bit longer to see their new star closer in action.
Reliever Trevor Rosenthal has a slight groin strain, reports insider Martin Gallegos. It’s believed to be minor but the team will be cautious with him. The right-hander expects to try playing catch over the next couple days and might pitch off a mound later this week, after responding well to treatment, adds Matt Kawahara of the S.F. Chronicle.
The A’s signed Rosenthal to a hefty free agent contract, at just one year in length but with an $11 million salary that’s partially deferred. The 2015 All-Star was brilliant last summer after a long recovery from Tommy John surgery, and will look to replace the departure of AL Reliever of the Year winner Liam Hendriks in the 9th inning.
But first, he’ll have to wait through what is hopefully just a minor temporary setback.
Lowrie and Bolt start
On the brighter side, two other A’s found their names in the starting lineup Tuesday for the first time this spring. At second base was Jed Lowrie, playing in his first live game since Sept 2019. He’s a non-roster invitee on a minor league contract, but could have an impact this season if he can prove he’s healthy and back to form.
“If we get a healthy Jed, that really deepens our lineup to where I’ve got to figure out somebody that’s going to hit ninth,” said manager Bob Melvin, per Matt Kawahara of the S.F. Chronicle.
Lowrie got two at-bats in his spring debut, finishing with a flyout to right-center and a groundout into a shift on the right side of the infield. But more importantly, he played, at all.
“I haven’t been that excited on a baseball field in a while,” said Lowrie, via Gallegos. “I’m just happy I didn’t pass out, quite frankly.”
Meanwhile, outfield prospect Skye Bolt made an appearance off the bench on Monday, but this time he got the call to start in right field after being delayed by a shoulder issue. He made a nice impression, walking in both trips to the plate.
Outfield prospect Ka’ai Tom will still be a bit longer, as he’s “looking more middle of the month” in terms of playing in games, per Athletics Farm.
Montas and Puk
Back to the pitching side of the roster, two big names are working back toward action.
Starter Frankie Montas will throw two innings in a simulated game on Tuesday, reports Kawahara. He missed the beginning of camp due to a positive coronavirus test, but is back to health and just slightly behind the rest of the rotation in terms of warming up.
Top prospect A.J. Puk will also throw in the sim game Tuesday, and then another one Saturday, and then might get into a Cactus League game, per Kawahara. The lefty missed all of 2020 due to a shoulder injury and eventual surgery.
The upcoming rotation for the next games looks like this, reports Shayna Rubin of the Mercury News:
- Wed: Chris Bassitt vs. MIL
- Thu: Jesús Luzardo @ TEX
- Fri: Daulton Jefferies vs. SDP
- Sat: Sean Manaea @ CIN
It’s the first start of the spring for the MLB stars, and the third for the prospect Jefferies.