OAKLAND – The A’s are adjusting their upcoming starting rotation, with the most notable change being ace Sonny Gray jumping ahead of Chris Bassitt in the order.
Gray will now pitch Saturday against the Royals, with Bassitt going Sunday. In addition, Eric Surkamp will jump ahead of Kendall Graveman and pitch Tuesday’s series opener in New York against the Yankees, with Graveman taking the ball Wednesday.
A’s manager Bob Melvin said the team wanted to avoid having Gray get an extra day’s rest for two consecutive starts. Because of Monday’s upcoming day off, Gray will already be pitching with an extra day’s rest in his following start next Friday at Toronto, and the A’s want to keep him on his regular routine as much as possible.
The switch with Surkamp and Graveman was done because the A’s wanted to split up their two lefties. Surkamp will go Tuesday with Rich Hill going Thursday.
Melvin praised right-hander Henderson Alvarez after his 30-pitch simulated game Friday afternoon.
“Really good,” Melvin said. “The changeup obviously is a real big pitch for him. He’s ramping it up each time. He threw 30 pitches again today, but he really looks like he could be in a game with the way he’s throwing. Like I said before, he’s very excited when he’s out there on the mound, and he looks like he really enjoys pitching.”
A decision hasn’t been made yet on Alvarez’s next step, and Melvin said he would have an announcement Saturday.
Infielder Eric Sogard, on the disabled list with a strained neck, is experiencing recurring soreness in his left knee that was serious enough for him to get an MRI. Sogard had been bothered by knee pain during spring training, and Melvin said Sogard aggravated his knee Wednesday during a rehab assignment with Single-A Stockton.