Athletics

Athletics

Editor's note: The video above is postgame of Sonny Gray after his final start before being placed on the disabled list

OAKLAND — The A’s are targeting their June 10 game at Cincinnati for Sonny Gray’s return to the rotation, provided he continues progressing well from a strained trapezius muscle.

First, Gray will throw another bullpen session Thursday and then is scheduled for a rehabilitation start Sunday with Single-Stockton, which plays at home that night against Visalia.

The A’s were debating whether to have Gray stick with the team and simply throw a simulated game or go out and pitch in an actual game with one of the minor league affiliates.

[STIGLICH: Notes: Gray feels 'more rhythm in my delivery' in Tuesday session]

“You have to kind of create your own intensity for simulated games,” manager Bob Melvin said, “where in a real game it’s a little different scenario, so we’ll do that with him.”

The A’s received encouraging news all around regarding their pitchers on the mend. Rich Hill, dealing with a strained groin, felt good while throwing off the mound Wednesday morning. He will take the ball as planned Saturday at Houston. Also, right-hander Henderson Alvarez threw 40 pitches off the mound, his first bullpen session since aggravating his throwing shoulder in mid-May. Melvin said Alvarez will likely throw off the mound again this weekend and then possibly make a rehab start or throw a simulated game after that, meaning his possible return isn’t far off.

 

“As far as our disabled list has gone, just getting Jed (Lowrie) back and (Josh) Phegley back — with Sonny on the way — all these things are going to be shots in the arm for us,” Melvin said. “We’re starting to, knock wood, see a resurgence in guys coming as opposed to going.”

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Help could be on the way soon for the bullpen as well. Reliever Liam Hendriks, who has missed the past 22 games with a triceps strain, is scheduled for a simulated game this weekend with Stockton.