OAKLAND –- Sean Doolittle will move on to Triple-A Nashville to make a string of rehab appearances, and A’s manager Bob Melvin cautiously estimated that his closer could rejoin the A’s on the next homestand.
Doolittle threw a bullpen session at the Coliseum on Sunday, and Melvin said the lefty would travel to Iowa to pitch for Nashville on Tuesday.
“We’ll just monitor him,” Melvin said. “He’ll have a few outings there and we’ll see how he’s doing, and at the right time we’ll bring him back.”
Melvin was asked about the possibility that Doolittle could return to the major league bullpen during the next homestand, a brief five-gamer that begins Aug. 18.
“I guess there’s the possibility, yeah,” Melvin said. “But we want to make sure he feels good, that mechanically everything is sound, and that he’s comfortable on the mound. Yeah, there’s the potential for that.”
The A’s begin a seven-game road trip Tuesday that takes them to Toronto and then on to Baltimore for a rare four-game “wrap-around” series that begins Friday, goes through the weekend and concludes with a night game Monday. That will leave the A’s flying cross-country and getting home in the middle of the night, then coming right back and playing a night game that Tuesday followed by an afternoon game Wednesday.
“That’s tough,” Melvin said. “I don’t know how we’re playing a night game there on Monday. But that’s way it is. Then we come back here. We’re going to get in really late. We have a night game and then a day game. You might not see us hit on the field (pregame) a couple times when we get home.”
In recent seasons, the A’s have had some very curiously routed road trips that’s had them criss-crossing time zones and geographic regions. This year, they make four separate trips to the Eastern Time Zone. Contrast that, for example, with the Orioles’ schedule. Baltimore made its first and only trip to the West Coast this month, playing series at Oakland, Anaheim and Seattle in one nine-game block.
“The scheduling, for me, especially with the American League West teams, is awful,” Melvin said. “You look at Baltimore, that came out here and took care of all three West Coast teams in one trip and doesn’t have to come out here again, where our division has it tough.”
The A’s held their annual Law Enforcement Day at the Coliseum, and part of the pregame festivities honored the memory Sgt. Scott Lunger, a member of the Hayward Police Department who was killed in the line of duty last month. Members of Lunger’s family were presented A’s jerseys, and family members threw out ceremonial first pitches. Among those catching the first pitches was Rickey Henderson, who was Lunger’s favorite player.