OAKLAND — A’s reliever John Axford will need a little bit more than his 10 days on the disabled list before he’s ready to return to the Oakland bullpen.
Axford, who had an MRI exam on Wednesday that showed a grade 1 shoulder strain, won’t pick up a baseball for a week and thus won’t be activated when eligible on April 12.
“It’ll probably take him a little longer than that,” said A’s manager Bob Melvin, whose initial hopes were that Axford could be back in a week after being placed on the 10-day DL retroactive to April 2.
Axford is navigating new territory here as he experiences his first stint on the DL in his nine-year big league career.
“This is all new to me so I don’t really know exactly what to do,” Axford said. “Just be listening and trying to recover and get back on the field as quickly as I can.”
Axford said was as surprised as anybody when he felt too much tightness to overcome during his warm-up tosses in the bullpen Tuesday night.
“I didn’t think there was anything really going on,” Axford said Thursday. “One pitch, it just kind of locked up back there. It didn’t feel good. It was something I never felt before. I threw another pitch and it felt even worse so that’s when I knew it was time to shut it down.”
The first pain occurred as he tried to throw a curve ball and Axford said “my arm just felt like it didn’t want to extend.”
Melvin is unsure of a timeline, but still doesn’t think the injury will sideline Axford too long.
“Depending on how many bullpens he needs to throw, I’m not sure what the course of action is after that, whether he throws to hitters or whatever, but hopefully it’s not too long,” Melvin said.
— Jesse Hahn, recalled from Triple-A with Axford going down, is hopeful to build off the solid performances he had during the middle of spring training and try to forget about the last two outings that saw him allow 12 runs over 6 2/3 innings.
“I feel good where I’m at right now. I know those last two outings aren’t how I wanted them to go, but that’s baseball. I can’t dwell on that. I’ve just got to take the positives from what I had this spring training and build off that.