MESA, Ariz. — Outfielder Jake Smolinski is dealing with a right shoulder issue that’s keeping him out of games right now.
A’s manager Bob Melvin is hopeful Smolinski might be able to serve as designated hitter soon, but he's having trouble throwing. The issue was bothering Smolinski when he reported to camp.
“It may take a little time,” Melvin said Sunday morning.
Depending on how long Smolinski is sidelined, it could impact his bid to make the club as a fifth outfielder. Khris Davis, Rajai Davis and Matt Joyce are projected as the starting trio, left to right, with Mark Canha likely to platoon with Joyce in right.
Melvin finds his catching depth thinning out a bit. Matt McBride isn’t able to get behind the plate because of a sore lat muscle, and non-roster catcher Ryan Lavarnway will be leaving soon to join Team Israel for the World Baseball Classic.
That means Sean Murphy, a third-round draft choice last June, will see plenty of time in early exhibitions. Melvin has spoken highly of the strong-armed Murphy so far.
“We’re a little short, so Mr. Murphy is going to get some opportunities for a younger guy,” Melvin said. “It’s a nice little showcase with him to back up some of these games.”
Ryon Healy will draw his first start of the spring, playing first base, Monday against the Giants in Scottsdale. He’s been nursing a sore quadriceps but ran Sunday and is cleared for Monday.
For the second straight season, Kendall Graveman will get the ball on Opening Day for the A's. And for the second straight year, he'll face Mike Trout and the Angels.
The team made the news official on Tuesday morning.
Last year, in a win over the Angels, Graveman went six innings, allowed two earned runs and struck out seven.
"It's something I don't take for granted. It's an honor and a privilege and [I just want to] try to get the season off to a good start and hopefully be a leader of this staff," Graveman told reporters Tuesday in Arizona.
In four seasons with the A's and Blue Jays, Graveman has a 4.11 ERA in 76 appearances.
UPDATE (Mar. 19, 7:45 p.m. PT): The A's officially announced the Cahill signing on Monday. This story has been updated to reflect that.
On the same day the Oakland A's learned they'd be without Jharel Cotton all season, they signed a familiar face to bolster their pitching depth.
Oakland agreed to a one-year deal with Trevor Cahill, nearly 12 years after the A's drafted him in the second round.
Cahill pitched for Oakland from 2009-11. He started 96 games in three seasons with the A's, going 40-35 with a 3.91 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. Since Oakland traded him to the Arizona Diamondbacks in Dec. 2011, Cahill's pitched for six teams.
The 30-year-old won a World Series ring with the Chicago Cubs in 2016, and pitched for the San Diego Padres and Kansas City Royals last season. In 2017, he went 4-3 in 21 appearances (14 starts) with a 4.93 ERA and 1.62 WHIP.