A's to shut down Puk again with more left shoulder issues

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Once again, A's lefty A.J. Puk continues to deal with injury complications. 

The A's hoped to activate the former first-round pick early this week, but that won't be happening. Manager Bob Melvin told reporters Monday that Puk will be shut down again with left shoulder soreness. 

Puk, 25, was supposed to throw once more at the A's alternate site in San Jose on Sunday, but that never happened. Instead, it seems unlikely Puk pitches for Oakland in the regular season. 

The 6-foot-7 lefty made his major league debut last season out of the bullpen for the A's after missing the entire 2018 season from Tommy John surgery. He went 2-0 with a 3.18 ERA in 10 relief appearances. That was supposed to just be a taste of what was to come next. 

Puk was expected to join the A's starting rotation this year. But right before the regular season began, he strained his left shoulder and again was put on the shelf. This has been a recurring theme for the No. 6 pick from the 2016 draft.

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Over 183 innings in the minors, Puk has 262 strikeouts. The long lefty can hit 100 mph with his fastball and has a devastating slider. That is, when he's healthy. 

Puk would have been a huge addition for the A's bullpen down the stretch. But once again, his time in Oakland will have to wait.