The A’s hoped to add rotation reinforcements this week in the form of Henderson Alvarez, but a setback in the right-hander’s last rehabilitation start has delayed that plan.
A’s manager Bob Melvin said Alvarez came out of his rehab start for Triple-A Nashville one inning early Sunday after feeling shoulder soreness. He is returning from shoulder surgery that has kept him from pitching in the majors since last May 22.
“His shoulder was bothering him just a little bit, a little bit sore, so we got him out of there,” Melvin said before the A’s played the Texas Rangers on Monday.
“He’s back here (in Oakland) today. Doctors will see him tonight. He feels a little better than he did (Sunday). We’ll probably know more after the doctors take a look at him.”
Melvin termed the development a “first little setback” for Alvarez. The timing was not ideal for the A’s given that Sunday’s rehab start was tentatively supposed to be the last for Alvarez before he rejoined their major-league rotation, which is struggling. In their last 21 games, A’s starters are 4-14 with a 7.86 ERA.
“We were looking forward to his return,” Melvin said. “Chances are it’s going to be a little bit longer than we were hoping here.”
The A’s still might make a rotation move. Right-hander Jesse Hahn no longer is listed for his previously scheduled next start for Nashville, and the A’s have not named a starter for Thursday’s series opener against the New York Yankees. Melvin said the A’s would “probably have something a little bit later” on the projected starters.
Alvarez was a front-of-the-rotation starter for the Miami Marlins before his shoulder injury. In four rehab outings with Nashville and two at Class-A Stockton, Alvarez had a 3.18 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings.
Melvin said regardless of the results of Alvarez’s medical evaluation, the right-hander likely will make at least one more minor-league appearance before the A’s consider activating him.
Medical report – With 10 players on the disabled list, Melvin spent most of his pregame media session Monday providing injury updates. Here are a few:
▪ Catcher Josh Phegley (right knee soreness) is “getting better” but not able to play yet, Melvin said. Phegley’s last game was May 9 in Boston, and Melvin said if he isn’t ready to play by this weekend, the A’s will have to consider placing Phegley on the disabled list.
▪ Outfielder Mark Canha (back strain) landed on the DL on May 9, but Melvin said Monday the A’s are “still kind of evaluating where he is.” Melvin said doctors were going to go over the results of Canha’a last evaluation later Monday.
▪ Infielder Jed Lowrie (right shin contusion) hit off a tee Sunday and did pregame work on the field Monday. Lowrie is not eligible to come off the DL until May 25, but Melvin said it was “encouraging” that Lowrie already is doing baseball activities.
Rangers series – The A’s are scheduled to face three left-handed starters against Texas, starting with Derek Holland on Monday. That should mean plenty of at-bats for Billy Butler, who started at first base Monday. Butler is batting just .218 with no home runs and four RBIs.
“In his case, it gives him a chance to get some consistent at-bats,” Melvin said.
The A’s also are scheduled to start three left-handers in the series, with Sean Manaea taking the mound Monday. Manaea cut off his long hair after his last start May 10 in Boston, where he allowed eight runs and 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings.
“That was probably something he’s never been through before, getting hit around like that,” Melvin said. “It was a hot lineup, he threw some balls in the middle of the plate and they made him pay. I know he’s looking forward to getting back on the mound tonight.”
Redbirds 5, River Cats 1 in Memphis, Tenn. – Memphis roughed up Sacramento starter Chris Stratton, who allowed five runs and eight hits in six innings. The Redbirds scored three times on two-out hits.
The River Cats scored in the fourth on Grant Green’s double.