OAKLAND -- Stephen Piscotty’s return to game action might be coming quicker than the A’s were anticipating.
After missing the past two games following surgery to remove a melanoma from his right ear, Piscotty returned to his normal pregame workout and hitting routines at the Coliseum before Sunday’s game against the Mariners. He grounded into a double play as a pinch-hitter to end Sunday's 6-3 defeat, and he is expected to be in the starting lineup for Monday’s game against the Orioles.
“My ear is a little sore, but it’s gotten better every day,” Piscotty said. “I’m back to feeling like myself. Took a few swings and ran around a little bit to get the heart rate up.”
The outer lobe of Piscotty’s right ear is wrapped in a small bandage in order to protect the stitches from the procedure. The stitches don’t come off until Thursday, but it shouldn’t be an issue for Piscotty, who plans on wearing a double-flap helmet in order to protect the area.
“Thankfully, it’s on the ear and not a part of my body that I can risk tearing,” Piscotty said. “I think it’s a safe area. I’m not too worried about it, and neither are the doctors.”
Piscotty has remained calm throughout the process, but there was an obvious amount of expected fear when his biopsy from a routine check came back positive for a form of skin cancer on June 5. What kept Piscotty positive was the fact that the cancer was caught early before it could potentially worsen.
A pathology report on Tuesday should fully clear him from cancer, and Piscotty plans to take extra preventative measures going forward to decrease the chances of a similar issue recurring.
“I was definitely a little spooked. When you hear the word cancer, it’s not something you want to hear,” Piscotty said. “It was the best-case scenario because it was super early. ... Going to make extra sure I wear a lot of sunscreen from now on.”
Manaea makes progress
Sean Manaea (left shoulder) was back in Oakland's clubhouse on Sunday after throwing 45 pitches in a simulated game at the A’s Minor League complex in Arizona the day before. He felt pain-free and is expected to throw one more simulated game, with his pitch count upped to 60. If all goes well for the left-hander, the next step would be a Minor League rehab assignment.
“We want to make sure he’s comfortable. Everything he’s done along the way, and certainly yesterday as well, has gone according to plan,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “Most important thing is he feels great. After 45 pitches, this is the one where you wonder if soreness will be involved. That wasn’t the case.”