OAKLAND – Right-hander Sonny Gray was scheduled to have an MRI on his left hand Friday after suffering a hairline fracture at the base of his thumb in the A's loss in Game 5 of the American League Division Series.
Gray was injured Thursday fielding a comebacker from the Tigers' Prince Fielder to end the fifth inning. He faced two batters in the sixth before being replaced by Dan Otero, and Gray said Friday he didn't realize he had broken a bone until it was revealed by an X-ray.
"I knew it was sore," Gray said. "It was really stiff. But I didn't know it was broken."
Manager Bob Melvin said the A's checked Gray "every which way you could" between innings and that "everything he did in the dugout would suggest he was fine to go back out there."
Melvin said the injury to Gray's non-throwing hand likely would have shelved him for the A.L. Championship Series if the A's had advanced, but Gray disagreed.
"I could have (pitched)," he said.
Gray now has all offseason to recover before spring training, where he will be a key part of the A's rotation. After debuting for the A's in July, the 23-year-old rookie went 5-3 with a 2.67 ERA in 10 regular-season starts. He pitched eight shutout innings in Game 2 of the ALDS and he got the start in Game 5 over 18-game winner Bartolo Colon.
"I think confidence-wise, to know that we have that type of confidence in him, that he has the ability to produce in those kind of situations," Melvin said. "Those are rare guys that you're able to bring up that quickly and have that kind of impact and that confidence that you see right away. It's pretty impressive."
Gray said he, too, is looking forward to being part of a rotation next year that should return young starters Jarrod Parker, A.J. Griffin and Dan Straily, with Colon a possibility as a free agent.
"Expectations were high coming into this year, and I'm sure they'll be even higher going into next year," Gray said. "I'm really excited. It's going to be a lot of fun."
Parker's elbow sore – Parker also was scheduled to have an MRI on Friday because of "some overall soreness" in his right elbow, Melvin said.
"In talking to him, it doesn't feel like it did when he had to have (Tommy John surgery in 2009)," Melvin said. "He just felt like there was some tightness.
"He's pitched a lot of innings (197). He was a little worn down. I hope that's the case."
Griffin feeling better – Griffin could have been an option to start in the ALCS if the A's had advanced. Griffin was left off the ALDS roster with right-elbow tendinitis, but he said Friday he "felt ready to go for the next series."
"Going home he's secure in his health, and that's a good thing," Melvin said. "You don't want to go home with doubts whether or not you're healthy. And he is."
Call The Bee's Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015, and read his online reports at blogs.sacbee.com/bay-area-baseball.