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A’s place Mike Fiers on injured list, activate Burch Smith

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One pitcher hurt, another back to health

Toronto Blue Jays v Oakland Athletics Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

A pair of Oakland A’s pitchers passed each other on their way to and from the trainer’s room on Saturday.

The A’s placed starter Mike Fiers on the 10-day injured list, the team announced this morning. To take his place on the active roster, reliever Burch Smith was activated from his own injury stint.

This is already the second trip to the IL for Fiers this year. He missed the first month of the season due to a lumbar strain and hip inflammation, but returned to make two starts for Oakland. The first outing went alright, but he got knocked around Thursday in his second start. Now he’s back on the shelf, but for a new reason, as the diagnosis is a sprained right elbow.

More details from insider Martin Gallegos:

Mike Fiers is dealing with an old ligament injury that now has some fluid built up. A’s trainer Nick Paparesta says he’ll be shut down for a couple of weeks.

The loss of Fiers opens a hole in the rotation, and it’s not yet clear how they will fill it, nor when exactly they’ll call up a replacement — they might wait until they need it or they could get it done earlier, per Matt Kawahara of the S.F. Chronicle. They have an off-day Monday, which extends the deadline for any decision and provides flexibility in when they want to insert a new fill-in.

The A’s are already missing another starter in lefty Jesús Luzardo, due to a fractured pinky on his pitching hand. He played catch on Saturday and will continue to get X-rays, reports Gallegos, and his timetable is week-to-week with the end of May as a tentative “good goal for a return,” adds Gallegos.

Two top prospects are also out of the picture at the moment. Right-hander Daulton Jefferies is in Triple-A Las Vegas but opened the season on their injured list, and southpaw A.J. Puk is still out with a strained biceps in his pitching arm. Puk is making progress, though, as he’ll throw a simulated game Saturday in Las Vegas and “could begin a rehab assignment middle of next week,” per Gallegos.

In the meantime, Oakland adds a fresh arm to the bullpen. Smith went on the IL in the first week of April with a strained right groin, but he made a rehab appearance in Triple-A on Thursday.

On the position player side, super-sub Chad Pinder is scheduled to start a rehab assignment in Triple-A on Monday, reports Gallegos. That’s the same timeline he’s been on since the end of April.

Here’s the updated roster. See below for the new injury report.

Oakland A's 26-man roster
Pitchers Hitters
Starters

Chris Bassitt (R)
Sean Manaea (L)
Frankie Montas (R)
Cole Irvin (L)

IL: Jesús Luzardo (L)
IL: Mike Fiers (R)

Relievers

Lou Trivino (R)
Jake Diekman (L)
Yusmeiro Petit (R)
Sergio Romo (R)
Burch Smith (R)
Deolis Guerra (R)
Reymin Guduan (L)
Adam Kolarek (L)
Jordan Weems (R)

IL: A.J. Puk (L)
IL: J.B. Wendelken (R)
60-IL: Trevor Rosenthal (R)
Catchers

Sean Murphy (R)
Austin Allen (L)

IL: Aramis Garcia (R)

Infielders

1B: Matt Olson (L)
2B: Jed Lowrie (S)
SS: Elvis Andrus (R)
3B: Matt Chapman (R)
DH: Mitch Moreland (L)
UT: Tony Kemp (L)
UT: Vimael Machin (L)

Outfielders

Mark Canha (R)
Ramon Laureano (R)
Stephen Piscotty (R)
Seth Brown (L)

IL: Chad Pinder (R)

Injury report:

  • RHP Trevor Rosenthal, 60-day IL, thoracic outlet surgery (July at least)
  • RHP Mike Fiers, 10-day IL, elbow (shut down 5/8, for a couple weeks)
  • RHP J.B. Wendelken, 10-day IL, oblique (no timetable yet)
  • LHP A.J. Puk, 10-day IL, biceps (sim game 5/8; rehab next week?)
  • UT Chad Pinder, 10-day IL, knee (start rehab 5/10)
  • LHP Jesús Luzardo, 10-day IL, finger (week-to-week; end of May?)
  • C Aramis Garcia, 10-day IL, illness (but not coronavirus)
  • RHP Burch Smith, BACK IN ACTION, groin (activated 5/8)