A's top prospect Jesús Luzardo has Grade 2 lat strain; no timetable for return

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A's top prospect Jesús Luzardo has Grade 2 lat strain; no timetable for return

OAKLAND – The A's received some unwelcome news regarding their best pitching prospect Wednesday.

Jesús Luzardo suffered a Grade 2 strain of his latissimus dorsi muscle, the team announced, ending the prospect of him joining the MLB club in the near future.

A Wednesday MRI revealed the diagnosis. The A’s said there is no timetable for his return.

Luzardo was pulled four innings into a Tuesday start for Triple-A Las Vegas after experiencing tightness in the latissimus dorsi, a muscle that extends down the side of the back.

A Grade 2 strain is considered moderate on a three-point scale. According to an injury glossary on the MLB website, Grade 2 latissimus dorsi strains usually take a month of recovery at least. That references a return to action, which will surely happen in the minors with a series of starts to ramp up and stretch out. 

That’s surely disappointing for player and team, especially considering the possibility the left-hander could have joined Oakland's rotation in the near future.

[RELATED: A's will give Treinen 'soft landing' in return to closing]

Baseball America ranked him the No. 7 overall prospect this spring, and he could’ve started this season with the A's if not for a strained shoulder.

That ailment slowed his rapid ascent. This new, unrelated injury setback is another blow that will postpone his impact on the MLB club further into the future.

Why A's Lou Trivino feels bad for minor league players during MLB halt

Why A's Lou Trivino feels bad for minor league players during MLB halt

Editor's Note: NBC Sports California spoke with Lou Trivino on Friday, May 22, four days before the A's announced they would stop paying $400 weekly stipends to their minor league players for the remainder of the season, and other teams released players.

For reasons of sanity and economy, the return of Major League Baseball this summer is the primary focus of the league and the players' association.

But A’s reliever Lou Trivino also realizes the entire minor league ecosystem would suffer in a multitude of ways, potentially going dormant.

At this point, there are no imminent plans for 242 farm teams and its players across the continent.

“You feel bad for those guys,” Trivino said. “Especially the ones that need the development, that need the reps.”

Most big league players have the advantages of time and accessibility to personal training facilities. They can stay conditioned during shutdowns, without much setback.

But it’s not the same for everyone.

“Some of these minor league guys, they’ve been stuck inside all day and not maybe able to do stuff,” Trivino said. “That really hinders their ability to perform on the field next year.”

Another lesser-discussed aspect to keep an eye on is MLB’s annual amateur draft, which has been reduced from 40 rounds to five rounds.

[RELATED: Braden opposes MLB's proposal]

“You’re not going to see the 11th round guy like myself maybe make it,” Trivino said. “You’re not going to see the late-round guys potentially get that chance and that’s heartbreaking. I’m that guy.”

Trivino started his minor league career in 2013, appearing in 170 games as a starter and reliever at every level, until getting his first chance at the major leagues with Oakland in 2019.

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Roy Steele, A's 'Voice of God' and legendary PA announcer, dies at Auburn home

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Roy Steele, A's 'Voice of God' and legendary PA announcer, dies at Auburn home

One does not easily earn the "Voice of God" moniker, but when it came to Roy Steele, nothing else would do. 

The long-time public address announcer for the A's passed away Thursday at his home in Auburn, leaving behind a tremendous legacy as one of the most recognizable voices in the history of the game. The A's released a team statement acknowledging his vast contributions to the history of the franchise.

"As the PA voice of the A’s for nearly four decades, his booming baritone filled the Coliseum from the Mustache Gang to Billy Ball, the Bash Brothers and Moneyball," the statement said. "Beloved by all, he touched the lives of generations of A’s fans. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones."

Steele began his tenure as the A's PA announcer starting in 1968 and remained in the position through 2005, though he did make occasional appearances during the 2007-08 season. He covered over 3,000 A's games, including six World Series and an All-Star Game. Throughout his 38 years at the helm, he only missed five days of work.

[RELATED: A's might have to delay targeted 2023 ballpark opening]

His death comes during a sad week for the Oakland franchise. On Sunday, Chester Farrow, who operated the scoreboard at the Coliseum for over 50 years, passed away at the age of 77.

Whenever MLB resumes, one would imagine both longtime employees will be honored.