A’s closer Sean Doolittle cleared to begin rehab assignment

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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.

Trea Turner undergoes surgery on right index finger

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Nationals shortstop Trea Turner underwent surgery on his right index finger, MLB.com’s Manny Randhawa reports. Turner suffered a non-displaced fracture when he was hit by a pitch attempting to bunt in early April.

Turner missed six weeks of action and played through the injury for the remainder of the season. He was quite successful, batting .298/.353/.497 with 19 home runs, 57 RBI, 96 runs scored, and 35 stolen bases across 569 plate appearances. Turner’s performance, especially late in the regular season, helped the Nationals claim the first NL Wild Card. They, of course, would go on to win the World Series.

Turner, who is expected to be healed up by the start of spring training, will be entering his second of four years of arbitration eligibility. He will likely get a sizable raise on his $3.725 million 2019 salary.