Home Sports A’s pitcher Sonny Gray has ‘great’ first bullpen session since lat injury

A’s pitcher Sonny Gray has ‘great’ first bullpen session since lat injury

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			A’s pitcher Sonny Gray has ‘great’ first bullpen session since lat injury

OAKLAND — A’s ace pitcher Sonny Gray threw his whole repertoire during a 25-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday, his first time on the mound since he was shut down nearly a month ago with a lat injury.

“He felt great,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “(He threw) 100 percent for what you can do throwing in the bullpen. There’s a little more intensity throwing to hitters and then in games, so there’s an incremental portion to that. But if anybody can go as close to 100 percent in the bullpen, it’s him.”

Gray was injured in a spring training start on March 7 and the A’s announced two days later that he would be shut down for at least three weeks. He instead got clearance just two weeks later to begin throwing and threw a flat ground session on Saturday.

Melvin didn’t want to commit to anything, but reasoned that Gray would need two or three bullpen sessions before he could graduate to facing hitters.

— Fellow starter Chris Bassitt is scheduled to face hitters on Wednesday, the first time he’ll do so since undergoing Tommy John surgery last May.

— Santiago Casilla earned the save in Monday’s 4-2 Opening Night win over the Los Angeles Angels, pitching a scoreless ninth after Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson combined to get through the eighth inning.

Melvin plans to continue to use matchups to determine how he’ll arrange the bullpen on a nightly basis, but didn’t rule out eventually sticking with one guy.

“If someone gets in there three or four times and rolls with it, then that possibility’s there,” Melvin said. “But when you have a left-hander like Doolittle and you have some right-handers that close too, there’s times that matchups are more prudent. I just don’t want to get locked into saying one guy has it. Could that potentially happen? Sure.”


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