Sean Manaea’s return to rotation remains TBD

OAKLAND — Sean Manaea had no issues during his rehab start on Tuesday night, but manager Bob Melvin isn’t ready yet to say when the left-hander will be slotted back in the Oakland Athletics’ rotation.

Manaea, who’s been on the 10-day disabled list since April 27 with a strained left shoulder, threw four innings for the Triple-A Nashville Sounds, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out five and walking one.

“He pitched well,” Melvin said. “We’ll see how he feels. He did throw four innings. Whether or not we’re ready to go forward with him in the rotation or if we feel like he needs one one, we’ll probably talk about that today as well.”

Manaea was followed by Chris Bassitt, who’s currently on the 60-day DL as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. Melvin was unconcerned by the right-hander’s shaky state line, which included four runs on five hits and four walks in four innings of work. Bassitt also punched out six.

“The numbers didn’t look great, but you’re not going to be perfect all the time,” Melvin said. “Your velocity not going to be there all the time. Not suggesting that some of those weren’t there for him, but when you’re coming back from Tommy John it’s a process.”

Axford set for Saturday rehab assignment

John Axford, who has missed the entire season with a right shoulder strain, took a step closer to debuting, throwing a 21-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday morning. Melvin expects Axford to head out on a rehab assignment on Saturday at a yet-to-be-determined location.

Melvin on Wahl: ‘We’ve always thought of him as closer-type material’

Before the matinee, Melvin offered high praise for rookie right-hander Bobby Wahl, who boasts a 95 mph fastball.

“We’ve always thought of him as closer-type material,” Melvin said. “Right now, with [Sean] Doolittle down, [Santiago] Casilla the guy that’s doing it for us, but when you’re looking down the future — two, three, four years down the future — that’s what we always thought. That he could be that type of guy.”

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