The Oakland A’s activated pitcher Jharel Cotton from the 10-day disabled list, the team announced Sunday. He is listed as the starter for the afternoon game against the Twins. To make room on the active roster, pitcher Frankie Montas was optioned to Triple-A Nashville.
Cotton missed most of July after developing a blister on his thumb. The right-hander has struggled for much of his rookie season after excelling in a brief callup last September, but he was in the middle of one of his better outings of the year in late June when the blister forced him to exit early. After one more start on July 3, he went on the DL.
Cotton, 2017: 5.17 ERA, 76⅔ ip, 67 Ks, 32 BB, 13 HR, 497 FIP
Meanwhile, Montas only pitched twice during this stint in Oakland, allowing runs both times. The fireballing rookie, who spent the first two months of the season in the A’s bullpen, had been stretching out in Nashville’s rotation before returning for a second turn in the majors.
Montas, 2017: 7.03 ERA, 32 ip, 36 Ks, 20 BB, 10 HR, 7.12 FIP
Both of these pitchers were acquired from the Dodgers last summer in the deadline deal for Josh Reddick and Rich Hill. On our preseason Community Prospect List, Cotton ranked 4th and Montas 5th in the entire A’s system, though both have now officially graduated from prospect status (Cotton due to innings, Montas due to service time). They’ve each endured a rocky road this year, but hopefully they can now get back on track — Cotton healthy and back in the rotation, and Montas back in the minors where he can continue to refine his elite stuff.