OAKLAND — After just one start with the A’s upon his return from the minor leagues, Jesse Hahn wound up on the disabled list Friday with what’s being listed as a strained right shoulder.
That’s hardly a welcome development for the A’s given the rash of injuries their pitching staff has absorbed. But Hahn said Friday afternoon that he didn’t consider this a major setback. He said it’s mainly fatigue he’s feeling in his shoulder, “August pains” that he says are typical for pitchers at this time of year.
But A’s manager Bob Melvin wasn’t taking any chances Thursday in Anaheim, when he noticed Hahn’s fastball drop from the 94-95 mile-per-hour range in the third inning to 90 in the fourth. He went to his bullpen after that inning.
Hahn has undergone one Tommy John procedure on his elbow and last year missed roughly half the season with a strained forearm. Though the current issue is in a different area, those past health issues weigh into the A’s thinking with how they handle Hahn.
“With the injuries he’s had in the past, I just wasn’t comfortable” leaving him in Thursday, Melvin said, adding that Hahn wanted to continue pitching. “He feels OK today, but we just wanted to be proactive.”
Hahn wasn’t the only addition to the DL on Friday, as second baseman Jed Lowrie joined the injured list with a bunion on his left big toe that’s been an issue for several weeks now.
“I began feeling symptoms about a month ago,” Lowrie said. “I took a swing and felt a pop. I’ve just been trying to manage it ever since then. I was hoping symptoms would get better but they just haven’t.”
Melvin said Max Muncy and Tyler Ladendorf would platoon at second base for the time being. Lowrie will seek a couple of medical opinions to determine if surgery, which would likely end his season, is the best route.
How the A’s fill Hahn’s spot in the rotation, however long that may be, isn’t so clear-cut. Melvin all but ruled out a return, this soon, for Daniel Mengden. Recently acquired Jharel Cotton is on turn with Hahn and is on the 40-man roster, so he could be one option considered. Raul Alcantara also is on the 40-man and has been excellent since being promoted to Triple-A Nashville, but he’s only got three starts under his belt at that level. Veteran Ross Detwiler would need to be added to the 40-man.
Reliever Sean Doolittle is set to throw 20-25 pitches off the mound Saturday, the latest step in his comeback from a strained left shoulder.
“I feel really good, and the strength has been coming back,” Doolittle said. “I’ve thrown every day this week, I feel like I’ve gotten better and better each throwing session. I’m very encouraged with where things are at … (But) when it’s the second relatively significant injury I’ve had to my shoulder in the last two years, we gotta make sure we’re really thorough in this whole process and don’t cut any corners.”