Updates from Friday, Sept. 12
The Athletics' official Twitter feed has an update on Doolittle:
#Athletics reinstate Sean Doolittle from the disabled list.— Oakland Athletics (@Athletics) September 12, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, Sept. 10
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle has the latest on Doolittle:
Melvin says if Doolittle comes in tomorrow and feels good, he is likely to come off DL on Friday. #Athletics— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 10, 2014
Updates from Monday, Sept. 8
Sean Doolittle said his throwing session that just finished "went incredibly well." He'll face hitters Wednesday, then could come odd DL.— John Hickey (@JHickey3) September 8, 2014
Sean Doolittle threw 20 pitches off the mound and feels so good that he was more mad that his mechanics were a bit off. #Athletics— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 8, 2014
Updates from Thursday, Sept. 4
Aaron Leibowitz of MLB.com reported on Sean Doolittle's recovery:
The A's closer, on the disabled list since Aug. 24 with a right intercostal strain, threw long toss on Wednesday and felt great, one day after playing catch from 90 feet.
"Tomorrow he'll be off, and we'll see where we are with him on Friday," manager Bob Melvin said Wednesday. "Encouraging to see he feels as good as he does."
Doolittle is eligible to come off the DL as early as Monday, and given how well he's progressing, that appears to be a possibility.
As the Oakland Athletics head into the most critical stretch of the MLB regular season, they'll be without closer Sean Doolittle for at least a couple of weeks.
According to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, the 2014 All-Star is suffering from an intercostal strain and was placed on the disabled list:
The A's just placed Sean Doolittle on the DL with an intercostal strain.— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) August 24, 2014
MLB.com's Jane Lee thinks the closer could miss serious time and added the current timetable for his return:
For those asking, have to think Doolittle is likely to miss at least three weeks. That's probably best-case scenario. Could be longer.— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) August 24, 2014
No timetable for Doolittle. Says he's obviously upset but ready to focus all of his energy on recovery.— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) August 25, 2014
In conjunction with Doolittle's move to the DL, the A's have called up Dan Otero from Triple-A Sacramento, per Jorge L. Ortiz of USA Today:
A's put closer Sean Doolittle on the DL with a strained right intercostal and call up fellow reliever Dan Otero from Class AAA Sacramento.— Jorge L. Ortiz (@jorgelortiz) August 24, 2014
Doolittle was hurt on Saturday night against the Los Angeles Angels. After the game, he sounded hopeful about his prognosis.
"If I was not able to do some of the stuff they asked me to do, it'd be a different story," said Doolittle, per MLB.com's Aaron Leibowitz. "I probably wouldn't be out here talking to you guys. [The trainers] were encouraged by that, and I think early signs are pointed in the right direction."
In 54 appearances in 2014, Doolittle leads the Athletics with 20 saves while posting an ERA of 2.28. Oakland is unable to find a suitable replacement for Doolittle this late in the season. Instead, manager Bob Melvin said that he'll employ a closer-by-committee approach, via ESPN's Jim Bowden:
Melvin said that Gregerson will stay in 8th and Otero, Cook & O'Flaherty will be closer by committee depending on best match-ups #Athletics— Jim Bowden (@JimBowden_ESPN) August 24, 2014
Eric O'Flaherty is the only player among that trio to have not recorded a save this year. Otero and Ryan Cook each have a save apiece, so they're at least familiar with pitching in high-pressure, late-inning situations. They should be serviceable replacements for the short term.
Until Doolittle returns, though, there will be a hole in Oakland's bullpen, which is exactly what the team doesn't want as it tries to jump ahead of the Angels in the American League West.