The wait is finally over for Jesús Luzardo.
After multiple setbacks delayed his ability to build his pitch count last season and early this season, Luzardo, Oakland’s No. 1 prospect per MLB Pipeline, is finally set to move into the A’s starting rotation. The left-hander is scheduled to make his first MLB start on Tuesday at the Coliseum in the three-game series opener against the Rangers.
A positive test for COVID-19 delayed Luzardo's arrival to Summer Camp by two weeks. Having to build to a starters' workload, Luzardo began the season in the bullpen and impressed in two relief outings, most recently getting up to 67 pitches in 3 2/3 innings in Wednesday’s loss to the Rockies. He allowed one earned run on four hits and two walks while striking out five.
“The velocity and breaking ball is there. He was throwing 2-2 changeups to lefties. All his stuff looks great,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said after Luzardo's outing on Wednesday. “To have it in this fashion after missing a significant period of time in Summer Camp is impressive.”
Davis likely limited to LHPs
A's designated hitter Khris Davis was out of Friday’s lineup in Seattle, marking the third time in the A’s first seven games he didn't start. Davis went hitless in his first 15 at-bats, and Melvin said he’ll look to get Davis into games with favorable matchups. With the Mariners starting left-handers on Saturday and Monday, there's a good chance Davis will start those games.
“Hopefully, he can get some good at-bats under his belt and we get him back in the lineup,” Melvin said. “He’s a key part of our lineup.”
Left-handed pitcher A.J. Puk is progressing at the A’s alternate training site in San Jose, Calif., as he works back from a left shoulder strain that landed him on the 10-day injured list on July 22 (retroactive to July 20). Puk, Oakland’s No. 3 prospect per MLB Pipeline, has been throwing at up to 60 feet.
“He feels good, so that’s encouraging,” Melvin said. “I still have no timetable for him for when he gets on the mound or throws a bullpen.”