Athletics

A's Drew Pomeranz undergoes shoulder surgery

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A's Drew Pomeranz undergoes shoulder surgery

Editor's note: The above video is from Drew Pomeranz's postgame media availability on July 26, 2015.

A’s left-hander Drew Pomeranz had minor surgery on his left shoulder that is expected to leave him ready for spring training.

The team announced that Pomeranz underwent a clavicle resection, a minimally invasive procedure meant to relieve pain in the AC joint, where the collarbone meets the highest point of the shoulder blade. The surgery was performed by Dr. Keith Meister in Dallas, and the A’s say Pomeranz will begin physical therapy shortly.

Pomeranz has dealt with soreness in that part of his shoulder periodically throughout his career. It got bad enough that he was shut down in late September and had been contemplating whether to have the surgery or just go the rehab route.

The lefty began the season in Oakland’s rotation and went 2-3 with a 4.63 ERA over nine starts. After going on the disabled list in mid-May for a sprained AC joint, he came back in June and joined the bullpen, posting a 2.61 ERA and .205 opponents’ batting average in 44 appearances. Pomeranz settled into a late-inning setup role, and his versatility gives the A’s options. He could open next season setting up for closer Sean Doolittle, or, given that multiple starters who will be coming off injuries, he could slide back into the rotation.

“He can do both, and when you have the ability to do that, it depends on the nucleus around you and what you need,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said in late September.

 

Dontrelle Willis hilariously reacts to Steve Bartman cutout at A's-Mariners

Dontrelle Willis hilariously reacts to Steve Bartman cutout at A's-Mariners

Of all the cardboard cutouts present at T-Mobile Park for the A's series in Seattle this past weekend against the Mariners, one seemed to stand out. In left field, Steve Bartman, the Chicago Cubs fan who became famous for reaching for a foul ball during an NLCS game against the Florida Marlins in 2003, a game Chicago went on to lose, was right there in the front row.

NBC Sports California analyst Dontrelle Willis was a member of that Marlins squad that went on to win the 2003 World Series, and says he and Moises Alou, the Cubs outfielder who was kept from catching the ball by Bartman, still aren't on the best of terms.

[RELATED: What you might have missed in A's gritty win over Mariners]

"Everytime I see Moises he wants to fight me," Willis quipped Sunday night on Twitter.

Willis was part of the Marlins' rotation from 2003-07, and was named the NL's Rookie of the Year in that season after going 14-6 with a 3.30 ERA.

MLB teams have had to employ cardboard cutouts of fans in lieu of the real thing, as no spectators will be permitted at games during the abbreviated 2020 season as result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fans have to appreciate that MLB teams like the Mariners are trying to have a little fun in what has been an up-and-down season to say the least.

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

A's Chris Bassitt, Austin Allen's quick bond creating success on mound

A's Chris Bassitt, Austin Allen's quick bond creating success on mound

Chris Bassitt’s stellar outing in the A's 3-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday almost wasn’t. But we’ll let the first inning be just a memory.

“I told myself after the first inning, I’m like ‘All right, you may be a little wild today, but don’t walk guys, make them earn everything,’ and it obviously smoothed itself out,” Bassitt told reporters in the postgame interview. 

Bassitt hit J.P. Crawford in the first with a curveball. After Dylan Moore hit into a fielder's choice and stole second, he came around to score on a single by Daniel Vogelbach.

Bassitt's performance more than smoothed itself out, and he had the help of rookie catcher Austin Allen in the process. In 5 2/3 innings, Bassitt allowed just one earned run, three hits and struck out seven. 

“Austin kind of guided me through the first inning and [got] going from there,” Bassitt said. “After the second inning, I just kind of felt myself out and I was kind of locked in from there on out." 

Allen came to the A's an offseason trade with the San Diego Padres for Jurickson Profar. And while he’s the new guy, Allen was able to form a bond with Bassitt quicker than usual. 

“Me and Austin spent a lot of time together over the last -- I would say two, three weeks just getting to know one another, talking about what I like, what I don’t like,” Bassitt said. “Obviously, a new catcher coming in, he’s got to learn basically me -- he’s got to learn who I am mentally, who I am physically, what I can and can’t do.

"I think we’re still learning each other, but at the same time, I think a lot more ahead of what we should be just because, again -- me and [Sean Murphy] are on the same page, and I think Austin’s done a great job of learning who I am.”

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]
 

The fifth inning came fast, but before Bassitt was pulled, he wanted to make it count against Mariners rookie outfielder Kyle Lewis, who is hitting .425 with three home runs this season. 

Bassitt glanced over to the bullpen to see A’s reliever T.J. McFarland warming up, knowing Vogelbach was about to come to the plate. He had an internal message for Lewis. 

“All right, if you’re going to hit me, you’re going to hit my best pitch, so uh … here we go,” Bassitt explained. “So yeah, I knew that was my last batter.”

[RELATED: Luzardo to make first big-league start next week]

Bassitt struck Lewis out.

And Bassitt continues to improve.

A’s manager Bob Melvin said Bassitt was fantastic and “seems to get better every time out.”