OAKLAND — In advance of Sunday’s matinee with the Atlanta Braves, the Oakland Athletics sent struggling starter Jesse Hahn to Triple-A, recalled Zach Neal from the Nashville Sounds and granted Paul Blackburn at least one more start.
“Well, we wanted to take a look at Blackburn,” manager Bob Melvin explained when asked about the roster shuffle.
Hahn, who last pitched on Friday, had worked just two innings a piece in each of his last two starts, serving up 15 earned runs in the process.
“[Blackburn] pitched really well and Jesse’s struggled a little bit here recently and finding some consistency is going to be the key for him,” Melvin said. “We’ve seen him really good and we’ve seen him have some tough outings. But I think it was more about getting another chance to see Blackburn pitch.”
The rookie from Brentwood spun six innings in his big league debut, allowing a single unearned run.
“He looked real composed for a guy you thought maybe some nerves would be involved,” Melvin said.
The manager added that he has “no doubt” Hahn will be back at some point this season.
Updates on seven
Jharel Cotton (blisters) is on track to pitch on Monday. Melvin said the right-hander will have his full complement of pitches.
—Matt Chapman (knee infection) felt good during his first rehab game for the High-A Stockton Ports on Saturday and will plan again in the field on Sunday before the team decides what to do with the rookie third baseman.
—Marcus Semien (wrist) delivered a walk-off single for the Sounds on Saturday night and is slated to rejoin the A’s before the All-Star game.
“I think he had a walk-out hit yesterday [and he] played nine innings in the field for the first time and we’ll get a few more of those before he comes back,” Melvin said. “But we’re probably in a position here fairly soon – before the break – to get him back.”
—Melvin said the cortisone Andrew Triggs received for his left hip strain hasn’t helped much and the club is still exploring next steps.
—-Kendall Graveman (shoulder) and Ryan Dull (knee) will both throw bullpen’s soon, but Melvin isn’t sure exactly when.
—Chad Pinder (hamstring) ran before Sunday’s game and is feeling better. Melvin said there’s still no timetable for a return, but that the training staff will draw up a schedule for the rookie utility man.