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A’s injuries: James Kaprielian will make one more rehab start

Also, progress for Kevin Smith

Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s activated two names from the COVID list on Saturday, and two other injured players are also making progress toward returning.

Pitcher James Kaprielian made a rehab start on Wednesday for Triple-A Las Vegas. The right-hander worked into the 5th inning and got knocked around in the hitter-friendly stadium, but he filled up the strikeout column and issued only one walk, which are encouraging signs.

  • Kaprielian, Wed AAA: 4⅔ ip, 4 runs, 5 Ks, 1 BB, 1 HR, 9 hits, 78 pitches

This was Kaprielian’s second rehab outing, after making an appearance for Low-A Stockton the previous week. Two days after his Vegas start, he threw a bullpen session at the Coliseum on Friday and “felt good,” reports insider Martin Gallegos.

Moving forward, the plan is for Kaprielian to make one start in Triple-A, and then hopefully return to the majors from the 10-day IL. He’ll take the mound for Vegas on Tuesday, aiming for around 95-100 pitches, adds Gallegos.

“Ready to go. Whenever they say, I’ll be ready,” said Kaprielian, via Matt Kawahara of the S.F. Chronicle.

Analysis: After a strong rookie season in 2021, Kaprielian missed the Cactus League this spring due to shoulder irritation. That delayed his 2022 debut, but now that he’s back to health, these rehab outings are effectively like a late spring training warmup for him. He’s ramping up his pitch count, logging some innings, and controlling the strike zone, which are the positive signs to look for.

Meanwhile, rookie infielder Kevin Smith is on the 10-day IL with a bruised bone in his left ankle, which he suffered during the game Monday night when sliding into first base. He was in a walking boot the next day and went on the IL. More details on the injury, per Gallegos:

Kevin Smith’s injury is a bone bruise that occurred after jamming his lower leg bone into his ankle bone on that slide Monday night. He’ll be in a walking boot and the A’s will wait for the area to decompress before getting him back into baseball activity.

Smith was out of the walking boot on Thursday, reports Gallegos, and was “doing some glove work on the field but still dealing with some swelling.” On Friday he ran sprints and was “moving well,” per Gallegos.

Here’s the updated injury report: