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Elephant Rumblings: Paul Blackburn return could be delayed

MLB news roundup

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Oakland Athletics Spring Training Workout Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images

Happy Wednesday, Athletics Nation!

Paul Blackburn may not return to the rotation as soon as previously hoped. Matt Kawahara tweeted yesterday that the A’s 29-year-old starter developed another blister after his rehab start on Sunday, putting his next appearance in question and presumably potentially delaying Blackburn’s return to the A’s beleaguered rotation.

Blackburn hasn’t pitched in MLB since August 4 of last season. He was the A’s lone All-Star delegate in 2022, but struggled after the break before being shut down for the remainder of the season due to a torn tendon sheath.

Paul appeared to be ready to go for the 2023 season and may well have been the A’s Opening Day starter, but wound up on the injured list to start the season instead due to a fingernail avulsion on his right middle finger.

Hopefully, this latest setback will be minor and Blackburn will be back to shore up the rotation as soon as possible. Meanwhile, it seems fair to wonder if this development factored into the decision to hastily call Mason Miller up to the big leagues after just one start in Triple-A.

Miller is being brought up as a permanent member of the rotation and starting against the Cubs tomorrow, per David Forst:

Simultaneously, James Kaprielian was bumped from his scheduled start by Miller and pitched out of the bullpen last night:

Take care of that pitching hand, Paulie B! Even if Miller deals filth right out the gate as we are all hoping, there will be other holes in the rotation to plug.

A’s Coverage:

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Best of Twitter:

Mason on Mason.

Absolutely—otherwise, we’d have lost by 14 last night.

Yeah, but hitter’s park—right?

Now let’s catch up with Numero Uno.

Big fan of the pitch clock, but I don’t know if it needs to get any easier to steal bases.