OAKLAND — A’s manager Bob Melvin was cautiously optimistic after an MRI of Sean Manaea’s left forearm showed a muscular injury but no damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow.
Manaea, the A’s top pitching prospect, left Monday’s start in the fifth inning with what was diagnosed as a pronator muscle strain in his forearm. Melvin expressed optimism that Manaea might be able to return around the time that he’d first be eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list, which is June 29.
“Based on the MRI, what we’re seeing is exactly what we said yesterday. It’s muscular and minor,” Melvin said. “We’re being cautious. We put him on the DL. Hopefully it’s similar to a Sonny (Gray) timeline.”
Gray, the A’s ace, was sidelined with a strained trapezius muscle and missed two starts, or 13 games total given that his 15-day DL stint was backdated.
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“We’ll let him rest a little bit, throw a couple bullpens, get him some kind of rehab type thing,” Melvin said. “Hopefully he’ll be ready around the 15-day timeline. That would be good news and that’s my understanding.”
Melvin was not ready to say who would take Manaea’s place in the rotation. His next turn comes Saturday against the Los Angeles Angels.
Manaea represents the 16th DL transaction this season for the injury-ravaged A’s. They’ve lost three pitchers to season-ending injuries — Felix Doubront and Chris Bassitt had Tommy John surgery and Jarrod Parker fractured his elbow. In addition, right fielder and No. 3 hitter Josh Reddick remains sidelined with a fractured thumb. Gray missed about two weeks and Rich Hill, who has been Oakland’s best starter in 2016, is on the D.L. now with a strained groin.
Right-hander Henderson Alvarez threw 3 1/3 innings Monday night for Single-A Stockton, his first game appearance since he suffered a setback with his surgically repaired right shoulder. Melvin said the team had yet to determine when Alvarez will pitch next.