Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that A’s closer Sean Doolittle is expected to be activated from the disabled list Tuesday after spending the first seven weeks of the season recovering from a partially torn rotator cuff in his shoulder.
Doolittle has been rehabbing in the minors for the past two weeks, including Triple-A appearances Friday and Sunday. Last season he stepped into the closer role in mid-May and had an All-Star year, saving 22 games with a 2.73 ERA and 89/8 K/BB ratio in 63 innings.
All indications are that the A’s plan to re-install Doolittle as their closer, but fill-in Tyler Clippard may keep ninth-inning duties for a while longer as they ease him back into the bullpen mix.
Josh Hamilton is making his return to the Rangers today, starting in left field and batting fifth against the Indians in Cleveland.
In returning from both shoulder surgery and relapses in substance abuse it’ll be Hamilton’s first MLB game action since last October and his first start for the Rangers since the 2012 playoffs.
Acquired by the Rangers for a fraction of his remaining contract when the Angels decided to part ways with the former MVP regardless of cost, Hamilton hit .364 with one homer, five doubles, and a .937 OPS in a 12-game minor league rehab assignment at Double-A and Triple-A.
Last time he started in left field and batted fifth for the Rangers? July 27, 2010, when Texas’ lineup also included Michael Young, Vladimir Guerrero, Nelson Cruz, Bengie Molina, and Chris Davis.
It might be too little too late for the A’s considering their 16-30 record, but Ben Zobrist is back from the disabled list after missing the past four weeks following arthroscopic knee surgery.
Zobrist was off to a modest start before the injury, but he’ll resume being an everyday player for Oakland while likely seeing time at multiple defensive positions.
As a 33-year-old impending free agent he’ll either try to get the A’s turned around after their brutal start to the season or perhaps emerge as an attractive trade target for contenders.
To make room on the roster Oakland sent outfielder Craig Gentry back to Triple-A.