The A’s hoped Sean Doolittle’s shoulder soreness would go away with a few days’ rest. When it persisted, they decided Thursday it was time to place the reliever on the disabled list.
The A’s put Doolittle on the 15-day DL with a left shoulder strain, also optioning right-hander Zach Neal to Triple-A Nashville. Oakland recalled relievers Andrew Triggs and Daniel Coulombe to bolster their bullpen.
Doolittle had not pitched for the A’s the past few days, so his DL stint is retroactive to June 26. A’s manager Bob Melvin said Doolittle was getting an MRI on his shoulder on Thursday afternoon.
“We really thought yesterday we had the potential for him to really turn a corner, and it didn’t work out that way,” Melvin said. “He went out to play catch and just couldn’t get after it.
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“We’re hoping this isn’t something that’s too bad. But with a guy like him, we really want to be careful.”
Melvin said the A’s would know more about Doolittle’s timeline after the MRI, but the current hope is the left-hander will be able to return “right after the All-Star break.”
▪ The A’s announced they agreed to terms Thursday with their first-round pick in this year’s draft, left-handed pitcher A.J. Puk from the University of Florida. Puk, the sixth overall pick, spent the day at the Coliseum, where A’s personnel got to watch him move about in person.
“It’s nice to be able to actually see him firsthand,” Melvin said. “We’ve seen him on TV and so forth. But the ball comes out of his hand really nice. It’s an easy motion, he throws really hard.”
Melvin also likened Puk’s slider to that of former pitcher Dave Righetti – who happened to be nearby Thursday in the Giants’ clubhouse. Righetti is the Giants’ pitching coach.
“I was kind of joking with (A’s pitching coach Curt Young), we should get Rags over here because that slider looked like Dave Righetti’s slider, which was one of the better sliders in all of baseball,” Melvin said. “It’s kind of one of those disappearing sliders.”
▪ Outfielder Khris Davis, who was scratched from the lineup Wednesday night with a left shoulder contusion, hit in the batting cage before Thursday’s game and was expected to be available to pinch hit.
▪ By recalling two relievers Thursday, the A’s opted to remain shorthanded on the bench, where they currently have just three players.
“It’s not something we want to do very long,” Melvin said. “But it’s more due to the case that our bullpen continues to be a little bit short, and we need some rested arms and guys that can give us multiple innings, too. So this is the way we’re doing it for now. We’ll see how it goes down the road here.”