Turns out, there may have been a reason for that.
Prior to Sunday’s series finale against Baltimore, Luzardo was one of two A’s pitchers placed on the 10-day injured list, joining right-hander J.B. Wendelken (strained left oblique).
Luzardo’s official diagnosis was a left hand fracture. More specifically, it was Luzardo’s left pinkie that was fractured, with A’s manager Bob Melvin revealing that the injury occurred before the game when Luzardo bumped his hand on a desk while playing video games.
Though Luzardo proceeded to go through his normal warmup routine under the watchful eye of the A’s training staff and both parties felt comfortable with him making the start, he began the game ominously by issuing a leadoff walk to Cedric Mullins. Lasting just three innings, he was pulled after a 35-pitch third that included two wild pitches.
X-rays after the game revealed the hairline fracture in his left pinkie. As of Sunday, Melvin said Luzardo’s pinkie was a bit more swollen than the previous day, adding that it was too early to get a real timetable on how long the 23-year-old lefty might be out.
“I think there’s a way to keep his arm in shape because it is on the far side of the hand, but the training staff will have a lot to say about that,” Melvin said. “Really don’t know [how long]. It depends on how it heals and responds.”
Luzardo is 1-3 with a 5.79 ERA in six starts this season with 30 strikeouts against 12 walks across 28 innings. In his absence, the A’s will revert back to a five-man rotation after expanding it to six members earlier this week to incorporate the return of Mike Fiers.
Right-hander Jordan Weems and left-hander Adam Kolarek were both recalled from the A’s alternate site in Stockton, Calif., on Sunday, giving the club a full eight-man bullpen.
“With Weems and Kolarek here, we’re back to a regular complement in the bullpen,” Melvin said. “We’ll just stay in rotation with the regular guys.”
There was some good news for the A’s on Sunday, with Matt Olson returning to the starting lineup. The slugging first baseman had missed the previous three games with a swollen left eye, the result of hitting a ball in batting practice that ricocheted off the L-screen prior to a game at Tampa Bay.
“His eye is open,” Melvin said. “It still looks like he’s got quite a shiner. But he is a tough guy and he wants to play.”
Olson entered Sunday leading the club in home runs (6), RBIs (17), and batting average (.296).