The A’s capturing the American League West this afternoon ensures that they’ll have a decently long postseason run. Which is great news for Brandon McCarthy, who had emergency brain surgery four weeks ago after taking a line drive off his head.
According to beat writer Joe Stiglich of the San Jose Mercury News, the righty might be able to return at some point in the playoffs if the A’s go fairly deep. He resumed throwing in late September and hasn’t experienced any sort of headaches or dizziness.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if he was able to do that,” A’s manager Bob Melvin told reporters during Wednesday’s AL West championship celebration.
McCarthy, 29, had a 3.24 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 73/24 K/BB ratio in 111 innings before going down.
Sure, spring training games don’t count toward anything “real,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Angels’ star pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani mowing down his first big league competitors.
On Saturday, Ohtani took the mound against the Brewers for his first official outing in an Angels uniform. After allowing a leadoff double to Jonathan Villar, the 23-year-old righty settled down and issued a three-pitch strikeout to Nate Orf, his first of the spring.
It wasn’t the cleanest inning for the right-hander: the Brewers plated their first run on a walk, wild pitch and subsequent throwing error by catcher Martin Maldonado. Ohtani didn’t let things unravel further, however, and induced a pop-up for the second out before catching Brett Phillips looking on a called strike three to end the inning.
While the two-way phenom only lasted another two batters (a Keon Broxton dinger finished him off in the second), he’s already started to look like a formidable presence on the mound. Time will tell whether he can deliver at the plate as well — rumor has it he could feature in the Angels’ lineup as soon as Monday.