Sean Doolittle’s recovery from a partially torn rotator cuff in his shoulder progressed to the point that the A’s closer has been cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment Thursday at Single-A.
Doolittle has spent the entire season on the disabled list and there’s no word yet on how long the A’s expect him to spend rehabbing in the minors, but so far he’s avoided any setbacks leading up to this point.
Tyler Clippard has filled in for Doolittle as the A’s closer, although Oakland hasn’t had many save opportunities to go around while starting the season 13-22. Clippard has three saves, Jesse Chavez has one, and that’s it.
Last season Doolittle took over as the A’s closer in mid-May and saved 22 games with a 2.73 ERA and 89/8 K/BB ratio in 63 innings, allowing zero runs in 53 of 61 appearances. If healthy the 28-year-old converted first baseman has proven to be one of the elite relievers in the league and along with Clippard would form a fantastic late-inning duo in Oakland.
Red Sox right-hander Justin Masterson had another rough start Tuesday, failing to make it out of the third inning against the A’s while allowing six runs, and his ERA now stands at 6.37.
After the game Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters that the team is considering its options with Masterson, saying “clearly he’s not right” to suggest a disabled list stint could be around the corner:
So we’ve got to gather some information overnight, we’ve got to check on him when he comes in in the morning, get a full work-up and just get a better assessment of where things are.
However, when asked minutes later about his health status Masterson made it very clear that he’s not hurt:
Other than not making good pitches? No. I never had a chance to feel comfortable. I didn’t feel comfortable in the pre-game bullpen, as far as just being able to get a good release point. … As we discuss right now, I’m more than capable [of making his next start Sunday]. I really think it’s not anything too extreme at this point.
Obviously there’s a big difference between a pitcher being injured and a pitcher’s mechanics being a mess, but either way the Red Sox may not want Masterson in the rotation for a while seven starts into a one-year, $9.25 million deal.
Tuesday night Marlins right fielder and murderer of baseballs Giancarlo Stanton became just the fourth player to hit a home run literally out of Dodger Stadium, joining Willie Stargell (twice!), Mark McGwire, and Mike Piazza by smashing a 467-foot bomb off Dodgers starter Mike Bolsinger.
Stanton’s home run, which was his eighth of the season, had an exit velocity of 114 miles per hour.