The Oakland Athletics have enjoyed a relatively healthy spring, but some nagging injuries may put a few key players in jeopardy of not being ready for Opening Day. Starter Paul Blackburn is dealing with a torn finger nail on his pitching hand which will push back his next scheduled start according to a report by The San Francisco Chronicle’s Matt Kawahara.
For now, he has been regulated to playing catch, but won’t be able to resume pitching until the nail heals. A’s manager Mark Kotsay admitted Tuesday that it could jeopardize Blackburn’s availability for the start of the regular season.
Paul Blackburn has a right middle fingernail avulsion (torn nail) that will push back his outing tomorrow. Mark Kotsay said it could jeopardize Blackburn’s availability to start the season but unclear.— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) March 14, 2023
Blackburn has appeared in two spring games and has allowed nine hits and eight runs in just 4 1/3 innings.
Catcher Manny Pina has not played in a game since February 25. He was slated to return to action this week according to MLB.com’s Martin Gallegos, but that won’t happen after he felt something in his left wrist while taking part in a minor league game. His status for the start of the season is also in question.
Manny Piña was supposed to return to game action this week but he felt something in his left wrist on a swing in a Minor League game. He’s going to be evaluated. Status for start of the season also in question.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) March 14, 2023
Pina came over from Atlanta in the Sean Murphy trade this winter and was expected to back up Shea Langeliers behind the plate. He appeared in just five games for Atlanta in 2022 before undergoing season-ending surgery on his wrist.
Freddy Tarnok last appeared in a game on March 8. He has been dealing with right arm discomfort and is currently undergoing testing. Tarnok has been shut down from throwing.
Freddy Tarnok is experiencing right arm discomfort and undergoing tests, the A’s say. He’s being held out from throwing for now.— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) March 14, 2023
Tarnok pitched well early in camp, but probably wasn’t realistically in competition to begin the season in the rotation. Still, he could be an option at some point during the season so any setback is concerning.