Santiago Casilla was nearly unhittable out of the Giants’ bullpen last season, posting a 1.95 ERA with 56 strikeouts and a .208 opponents’ batting average in 55 innings, but he appeared in just one game this season before landing on the disabled list with an elbow injury.
And now manager Bruce Bochy told Chris Haft of MLB.com that Casilla isn’t close to returning despite beginning a rehab assignment at Single-A over the weekend.
By definition rehab assignments can last at most 20 days, although a setback or new injury can extend the stints. According to Haft, “don’t expect Casilla to make a speedy return” because he “will need more time to regain arm strength.”
Free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill reportedly has a one-year deal in place with the Athletics, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee. The exact terms have yet to be disclosed, and as the agreement is still pending a physical, it has not been formally announced by the club.
Cahill, 30, is coming off of a decent, albeit underwhelming year with the Padres and Royals. He kicked off the 2017 season with a 4-3 record in 11 starts for the Padres, then split his time between the rotation and bullpen after a midseason trade to the Royals. By the end of the year, the righty led the league with 16 wild pitches and had racked up a 4.93 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 84 innings for the two teams.
The A’s found themselves in desperate need of rotation depth this week after Jharel Cotton announced he’d miss the 2018 season to undergo Tommy John surgery. Right now, the team is considering some combination of Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden and Paul Blackburn for the back end of the rotation — a mix that seems unlikely to change in the last two weeks before Opening Day, as Lee points out that Cahill won’t be ready to shoulder a full workload by then. Instead, he’s expected to begin the year in the bullpen and work his way up to a starting role, where the A’s hope he’ll replicate the All-Star numbers he produced with them back in 2010.