by Charlie O. Mallonee
Doolittle throws nine pitches to get three outs
On Monday in Nashville, the A’s left-handed reliever Sean Doolittle made a rehab appearance for the Triple-A Sounds. It was his first competitive pitching opportunity since going on the disabled list on June 30 – retroactive to June 26 – with a left shoulder strain.
Doolittle pitched the eighth inning against the Reno Aces. He struck out the lead off batter. IIdemaro Vargas – the second man up – hit a double to left field. The third hitter – Ed Lucas – grounded out to first but Vargas advanced to third with two out. Doolitte then induced Zach Borenstein to ground out to second for the final out of the inning.
Doolittle worked one inning and gave up no runs on one hit. He threw nine pitches of which eight were strikes. Doolittle had one strikeout and two groundouts to retire the side.
The plan is for Doolittle to pitch at least once more in Nashville before rejoining the A’s. The target is for him to come off the disabled list and be available for the Cleveland series that begins next Monday night in Oakland.
Jesse Hahn performs well in rehab start
A’s right-handed starting pitcher Jesse Hahn made a rehab start in Nashville on Tuesday. It was his first game experience since going on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain on August 5.
Hahn set the tone of the night by sitting the Tacoma Rainiers down in order in the top of the first inning. In the second inning, Hahn faced seven batters and gave up a run. He settled down in the third inning getting three consecutive outs after allowing a lead-off walk. In his fourth and final inning, Hahn sat the side down in order once again.
Hahn threw 79 pitches in his four innings of work. Hahn was most likely on target to throw approximately 80 pitches. Of his 79 pitches, 40 were strikes. He faced 17 batters in his four innings of work. Hahn was able to get five of those batters to groundout and one to flyout.
The plan for Hahn -assuming he feels well after resting up from the start – is to travel to Chicago and meet up with the A’s. He can come off the disabled list on August 21, so Hahn could start the final game of the series with the White Sox in Chicago.
The season is over for Jed Lowrie
Infielder Jed Lowrie and the Athletics have decided that he should go ahead with surgery to remove a bunion from his big toe on the left foot. Lowrie had tried to play through the injury but finally had to be shutdown in early August.
According to reports, Lowrie received several different medical opinions before deciding on season-ending surgery. The recovery – rehabilitation time is approximately three months.
Lowrie played 87 games this season and hit .263 with 12 doubles, one triple, 2 home runs and 27 rbi. He is signed through 2017 so Lowrie will return to the team next season.
Lowrie is currently on the 15-day disabled list. He will probably be transferred to the 60-day disabled list which will allow the A’s to make some moves with the 40-man roster.
Chad Pinder moves up to the show
The Oakland Athletics have promoted Chad Pinder from Triple-A Nashville to the big club as they have placed infielder Tyler Ladendorf on the 15-day disabled list. Ladendorf has a sprained left wrist. Ladendorf was batting .083 with .102 on base percentage.
In order to make this move, the A’s transferred Jed Lowrie to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster for Pinder. Lowrie is out for the rest of the season and will soon have surgery on his left big toe.
Pinder also gives the A’s some flexibility in the infield that they are going to need very soon. Starting shortstop Marcus Semien is about to go on maternity leave and the A’s will need someone to fill in at the number six spot. Pinder is a shortstop who was moved to that position last year from second base.
Pinder is a 6-foot-2, 195 pound, 24 year-old who was drafted 79th overall in 2013 by Oakland out of Virginia Tech. He has progressed each year to the next higher level of the farm system for the last four years.
Pinder has played in 107 games for Nashville this season and has a .258 batting average, a .310 on base percentage and .425 slugging percentage. He has hit 23 doubles, three triples, 14 home runs and has driven in 51 runs.
The Athletics have now used the disabled list a record-breaking 26 times this season eclipsing the old mark of 25 times set in 2008.
Matt Chapman gets promoted
Last week, third baseman Matt Chapman batted .318 with .424 on base percentage and an .864 slugging percentage going 7-for-22 in six games for the Midland RockHounds. Chapman hit three doubles, three home runs, drove in eight runs and scored five runs. He was named the Texas League Offensive Player of the Week.
As a reward for his great week, the A’s told Chapman to pack his bags and get out of town. The 2014 first-round draft pick has been promoted to Triple-A Nashville. That means Chapman has gone from the Rookie League to Triple-A in less than three years. That is very impressive indeed.
Many prognosticators are projecting that by next season Matt Chapman and Ryon Healy will be the corner infielders for the Oakland A’s. Who will be at third and who will be at first? That is still to be determined, but the A’s may have found a power hitting duo that will lead their youth movement for years to come.