A’s closer Sean Doolittle: “I have my mind set on pitching this year”

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Being without All-Star closer Sean Doolittle for all but one game this season is one of many things that have gone wrong for the A’s on the way to a 44-52 record, but Doolittle hasn’t given up hope of pitching again in 2015.

On the disabled list with a shoulder injury for the second time, Doolittle told Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com:

I’ve been working so hard to get back. I have my mind set on pitching this year. Obviously we’re going to be smart with it. But it looks like there’s a really good chance I’ll be pitching this year.

Tyler Clippard has subbed for Doolittle in the closer role, but as an impending free agent the A’s may be looking to trade Clippard. If nothing else, Doolittle returning for some late-season appearances would give him and the A’s a little confidence heading into 2016 and perhaps even enough to label him as the closer again heading into the offseason.

Doolittle converted from first baseman to reliever and debuted for the A’s in 2012, first thriving as a setup man and then thriving as a closer. Overall he has a 2.95 ERA and 211/32 K/BB ratio in 180 innings, including an All-Star appearance last year.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”