Programming note: For comprehensive A’s coverage from Arizona, watch SportsNet Central tonight at 6 p.m., 10:30 and midnight on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
MESA, Ariz. – The competition for the A’s starting rotation appears like it will get thinner, as lefty Sean Nolin endured a setback in his return from sports hernia surgery.
Nolin threw on flat ground Saturday and still felt a “tug”, according to Oakland manager Bob Melvin. The hope was that Nolin, acquired in the Josh Donaldson trade, would be able to return to the mound soon. Now it’s uncertain when he’ll return to full action.
“It just depends on when he’s able to get on a mound and go,” Melvin said Sunday morning. “As of yesterday, he was gonna be behind. As of today, he’s significantly behind. Every spring you have instances when guys get injured. That’s what depth’s all about.”
The A’s have three open rotation spots behind Sonny Gray and Scott Kazmir. The primary candidates are Jesse Chavez, Drew Pomeranz and newcomers Chris Bassitt, Kendall Graveman, Jesse Hahn, and, if healthy, Nolin. Barry Zito is also in the mix as a non-roster camp invitee.
Chavez, Graveman and Hahn are among those scheduled to throw bullpen sessions during Sunday’s workout.
In other news, Melvin said there’s a possibility the A’s hold an intrasquad game March 2, the day before they open the Cactus League exhibition season against the Giants, but no final decision has been made yet.