The Oakland A’s pitching staff got a huge boost on Thursday, as All-Star starter Chris Bassitt was activated from the 10-day injured list. Less than six weeks after being struck in the head by a line drive that fractured his cheek and required surgery, Bassitt is back in action in the majors.
However, two other pitchers probably won’t make it back to Oakland this season.
Veteran starter Mike Fiers missed most of the year to injuries. First his back/hip cost him a month, and now his elbow has kept him out since May. He made two rehab outings in Triple-A, but he “hit a snag” and “his comeback attempt before season’s end is likely over,” reports insider Martin Gallegos. His velocity hasn’t fully returned and he might visit Dr. James Andrews again, adds Shayna Rubin of the Mercury News.
Meanwhile, rookie Daulton Jefferies was set to make a start last weekend but was scratched and instead went on the injured list with what was deemed a nerve issue in his elbow. The diagnosis has now been updated to a flexor strain, per Gallegos, who notes that the recovery time tends to take 2-3 weeks. That timetable would presumably end Jefferies’ season.
Neither Fiers nor Jefferies were significant parts of the MLB team this summer, with Fiers spending most of it on the IL and Jefferies in the minors, and the pair contributed just a couple dozen innings combined. But both represented potential late-September reinforcements for a pitching staff that’s running on fumes down the stretch.
On the incredibly bright side, rotation ace Bassitt is back, which seemed unthinkable so soon after his horrific injury. He starts today against the Seattle Mariners, with the A’s clinging to their final mathematical odds of reaching the postseason. To make room on the active 28-man roster, reliever Sam Moll was placed on the paternity list, where he may stay for up to three days.
Here’s the updated injury/absence report:
- RHP Trevor Rosenthal, OUT FOR YEAR, entire body (thoracic outlet, hip labrum)
- OF Stephen Piscotty, OUT FOR YEAR, wrist (had surgery 8/27)
- RHP Mike Fiers, 60-day IL, elbow (probably out for year)
- RHP Daulton Jefferies, 10-day IL, elbow (probably out for year)
- DH Mitch Moreland, 10-day IL, wrist (maybe out for year?)
- LHP Sam Moll, paternity list (began 9/23, up to 3 days)
RHP Chris Bassitt, BACK IN ACTION, face (“I don’t need my face to pitch” — actual quote)