This season began with the A’s hoping Henderson Alvarez would join the front of their rotation by May. It likely will end without Alvarez throwing a pitch for them.
The A’s signed Alvarez to a $4.25 million deal in December, hoping the right-hander would return from a July 2015 shoulder operation. But Alvarez had a series of setbacks, the latest of which likely will end his season, manager Bob Melvin said Tuesday.
“Unfortunately, he’s hit another hurdle,” Melvin said. “I really feel bad for him. This is a guy that’s worked so hard to get back with us and been right on the cusp a couple different times and had to go back through the rehab process again. My heart goes out for him.”
Alvarez recently made three rehabilitation outings with Class-A Stockton. Melvin said the 26-year-old’s velocity was down and reports were he was still “guarding” the shoulder.
Alvarez is scheduled to see Dr. James Andrews, who performed his 2015 surgery. Melvin said MRIs have not revealed any structural problems, but a second surgery is possible.
“Dr. Andrews will make that decision once he sees him again,” Melvin said. “But it’s unfortunate that he’s never been right the entire season.”
Melvin also said the season probably is over for right-hander Andrew Triggs, who left his start Friday because of back soreness he said has bothered him periodically this season. The outlook is more positive for left-hander Sean Manaea (back), who could face hitters soon and whom Melvin hopes to have back in the rotation this season.
A return is sounding less likely for right-hander Sonny Gray (elbow), who threw from 120 feet Tuesday but still does not have a flat-ground or bullpen session scheduled.
“I don’t think he feels 100 percent,” Melvin said of Gray. “He’s throwing the ball well, but I think there’s still a few times that he feels it a little bit in his forearm.”
Right-hander Jharel Cotton, acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Josh Reddick trade, is scheduled to make his major-league debut Wednesday against the Los Angeles Angels.
On Monday, another promising A’s pitching prospect, right-hander Raul Alcantara, had a rocky big-league debut, hitting three Angels in the first inning and allowing five runs in three innings. Melvin said Alcantara will remain in the rotation, adding the team might use a six-man rotation later this month.