OAKLAND — If Sean Manaea’s back cooperates, the Oakland Athletics will end the 2016 season with a six-man rotation.
“We’ve had some trouble,” said manager Bob Melvin. “We probably envisioned having one right now, but we’ve had some injuries. Knock wood we have everybody healthy.’
After Jharel Cotton makes his big league debut in the finale against the Los Angeles Angels, the A’s will send out Daniel Mengden on Friday against the Seattle Mariners. Kendall Graveman, Raul Alcantara and Ross Detwiler will take the next three turns.
Manaea, who would be one of four rookies in the six-man group, is still working his way back from a sore back, which knocked him out of his last start on Aug. 29.
“He threw an extended bullpen today. We’ll probably have him throw another one in a couple of days,” Melvin said. “And potentially, he’ll take the mound for us on the road trip at some point in time if all goes well.”
The trip begins with a stop in Kansas City next Tuesday.
— When Cotton takes the mound, he’ll be the A’s 49th player, 27th pitcher and 12th rookie hurler of 2016.
“We’re excited about this,” Melvin said. “Obviously, he got our attention very quickly when he came over in the trade with the near perfect game [in his second Triple-A start]. So, we’ve been watching him closely and he’s excited about getting the opportunity. This is a big day for him.”
— Ryon Healy hasn’t played in the minors since the middle of July, but his breakout first half (.940 OPS in 85 Double and Triple-A games) was enough to land him a spot on Baseball America’s minor league all-star team.
“It doesn’t surprise me,” Melvin said of the accolade,
Healy is hitting .358 in his last 22 games with the big club.
“We’ve talked about kind of what he’s brought to the table,” Melvin added. “He’s a tough guy that’s never looked like he’s in awe of the situation. He’s very respectful, but he’s not in awe of anything.”Bob Melvinjharel cottonMLBOakland Athleticsryon healysean manaea