With the trade deadline approaching, Frankie Montas’ health status is of particular interest to both the Athletics and several other teams around baseball. The right-hander tossed just one inning on July 3 and hasn’t pitched since, due to shoulder inflammation. The A’s resisted placing Montas on the 15-day injured list, and it seems as though he could return as early as Thursday, when Oakland opens the second half with a doubleheader against the Tigers.
Montas received a cortisone shot as part of his recovery, and things went “really well” during a bullpen session yesterday, A’s manager Mark Kotsay told the San Francisco Chronicle’s Matt Kawahara and other reporters. The club will continue to observe Montas over the All-Star break, but for now, it would seem like Montas is on pace to get back onto the mound. Assuming regular rest, Montas would be on pace to make at least two starts prior to the August 2 deadline, though it’s also possible the Athletics could rest him if a trade is close.
More injury notes from around baseball…
- Right shoulder discomfort sent Michael Brantley to the 10-day IL back on June 27, but the Astros outfielder still “didn’t feel right” while trying to swing last Thursday, manager Dusty Baker said. “Right now, he’s in the same spot, no worse….That was the shoulder he got operated on years ago. He’s still a little sore,” Baker told MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart and other reporters. Brantley had shoulder surgeries in both 2015 and 2016, which limited him to only 11 games in 2016 and also delayed his return in 2017. There isn’t yet any sense that this current injury is anywhere near as serious, however, though speculatively, Houston could perhaps look out for outfield help at the deadline should they have any longer-term concerns over Brantley’s health.
- Zach Eflin threw a simulated game yesterday, but Phillies manager Rob Thomson told reporters (including Alex Coffey of the Philadelphia Inquirer) that Eflin came out of the session feeling a little sore, and team doctors will examine him tomorrow. Eflin was placed on the 15-day IL on June 26 due to a right knee bruise, and Eflin is another player with a lengthy surgical history, as the righty underwent knee procedures in both 2016 and 2021.
- Rays manager Kevin Cash updated reporters (including Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times) about a pair of pitching injuries, noting that Jeffrey Springs is expected to be activated during the Rays’ first series after the All-Star break. Springs’ placement on the 15-day IL (for tightness in his lower right leg) was retroactive to July 7, so the southpaw looks like he’ll miss just the minimum amount of time. Cash also thinks Jalen Beeks will miss only 15 days, after Beeks went to the IL just today with a similar leg injury.
- Dustin May threw two innings of Arizona Complex League action yesterday, marking the first in-game action in his recovery from Tommy John surgery in May 2021. May’s minor league rehab assignment is expected to last at least a month, the Orange County Register’s Bill Plunkett writes, but he could be an option for the Dodgers down the stretch. As president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman recently told Plunkett and other reporters, “our plan is to build [May] up, have him start for us and then evaluate as we go,” possibly adjusting usage based on the Dodgers’ needs (in the regular season or the playoffs) and May’s health.