ANAHEIM – Sonny Gray threw six scoreless inning on his second injury rehabilitation assignment for Triple-A Huntsville, and it seems more likely than ever that Gray will make his 2017 Major League debut for the A’s next week in Minnesota.
Gray, who had been battling shoulder tightness, was on a 75-pitch limit, exceeded it slight and allowed just two hits in getting tuned up for this return to the big leagues.
A’s manager Bob Melvin, some of his staff and some of the players were able to watch the first two innings Gray threw in the visitors’ clubhouse before the A’s workouts prior to the Angels’ game began.
“Good, really good,” was Melvin’s summation. “He was dotting his heater in the first inning and had a 1-2-3 second inning. He had real good command of his fastball. He was throwing 94 (mph), so it was going very well for him.”
Sounds radio voice Jeff Hem tweeted that Gray was “fantastic” and he “didn’t see anything not to like” after Gray allowed two hits, no walks and struck out seven while throwing 77 pitches, 54 of them strikes.
Gray was sidelined in early March by a right shoulder strain that cost him the opening day start. He vowed not to rush his way back the way he did last year when he wound up spending two terms on the disabled list.
For having pitched Thursday, Gray’s rest schedule would have him eligible to return to the rotation for Tuesday’s game against the Twins in Target Field. That game normally would go to Sean Manaea, but the left-hander came out of Wednesday’s game early because of some shoulder issues of his own, so Manaea may not make that start.