The Oakland A’s placed yet another player on the disabled list Wednesday, the team announced. This time it was RHP Bobby Wahl, due to a shoulder strain. To replace him, RHP Zach Neal was added to the 40-man roster and called up to Oakland’s 25-man squad.
Wahl is a 25-year-old reliever who made his MLB debut at the beginning of May. He pitched in seven games for the A’s, demonstrating the inconsistency you’d expect from a rookie but also flashing the 95-97 mph fastball and sharp breaking ball that give him a potential ceiling as a setup man or more. He has fought injuries throughout his career, both to his arm and otherwise, and now that part of his scouting report has revealed itself in the majors as well.
Wahl, 2017: 4.70 ERA, 7⅔, 8 Ks, 4 BB, 0 HR, 2.90 FIP
Taking his place will be Zach Neal, who debuted for the A’s in 2016. The 28-year-old pitches purely to contact, as evidenced by his 3.5 K/9 rate in MLB and the 4.4 K/9 he’s posted the last two years in Triple-A. But he also allows virtually no walks, and at his best he can be an effective and efficient innings eater. He’s a swingman capable of pitching out of the pen or making an emergency spot start.
Neal, 2016 MLB: 4.24 ERA, 70 ip, 27 Ks, 6 BB, 9 HR, 4.35 FIP
The A’s already had two open spots on their 40-man roster, so no corresponding move was needed to add Neal. There are now 39 players on the 40-man, with one spot open.
This is the 14th time Oakland has used the disabled list this season and the ninth since Opening Day, and we still don’t know the fates of the two players who actually left Tuesday’s game with injuries (Jesse Hahn and Yonder Alonso).
Sonny Gray (R)
Ryan Madson (R)
Stephen Vogt (L)
Yonder Alonso (L)
Khris Davis (R)
10-day DL: LHP Sean Doolittle, RHP Ryan Dull, RHP Bobby Wahl
60-day DL: RHP Chris Bassitt, SS Marcus Semien, OF Jake Smolinski
(Note: C Bruce Maxwell is not listed, but he is on the minor league DL.)
Updates: Alonso and Hahn
From the post-game reporting of the insiders:
- 1B Yonder Alonso’s injury is just a wrist contusion (via Joe Stiglich, NBCS). He feared it was a fracture after being hit by a pitch (Stiglich), but X-rays were negative. Watch his post-game comments, via John Hickey of Mercury News. He is not in the lineup Wednesday.
- RHP Jesse Hahn felt his arm tighten in a “dead-arm” fashion, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle. He had an MRI and awaits his fate on whether he’ll need a DL stint (Hickey). Watch his post-game comments, via Hickey. If he needs to miss time, then Slusser suggests Jharel Cotton is the most likely replacement for the rotation.
- And finally, let’s finish on some good news about Sean Doolittle’s recovery.