OAKLAND –- Ryan Cook threw another strong session off the mound Thursday, and the A’s reliever said he’s tentatively set to test his forearm in a minor league game Saturday.
Cook estimated he threw about 40 pitches, and he treated it like a game situation, taking breaks in between as if he was sitting on the bench. He said his stuff continues to round into form, and that his sharpness is “10 times better” than when he came off the 15-day disabled list for shoulder tendinitis in early April.
His current injury is a strained forearm that’s had him on the D.L. since May 8.
“I’m not positive, but from what I’m told, I think there could be (a rehab game) Saturday, and we’ll go from there,” Cook said before the A’s series finale against the Detroit Tigers. “Hopefully all goes well and I come back (after that outing), but it’s not up to me.”
Manager Bob Melvin did not mention a specific day for a minor league game, but said if Cook comes in Friday feeling well then his next outing could be an actual game. Single-A Stockton plays at home Saturday night, so that’s an option for Cook. Triple-A Sacramento will be on the road at Fresno.
The right-hander hasn’t pitched in a game since leaving the opener of a May 7 doubleheader against Seattle with pain in his forearm. His recovery has gone smoothly since then.
In other news, Melvin said shortstop Jed Lowrie still has some lingering stiffness in his neck.
Lowrie is not in Thursday’s lineup, with Nick Punto handling shortstop in his first start since a calf injury sidelined him Saturday in Toronto. With the A’s playing a day game after a night game, it was a good time to rest Lowrie, according to Melvin.