OAKLAND -- With Saturday's starter against the Angels to be determined, the A's ruled out Henderson Alvarez.Alvarez is expected to throw roughly 70 pitches in a rehab assignment Saturday at Triple-A Nashville. A's manager Bob Melvin said the idea of Alvarez bypassing his rehab assignment and rejoining the rotation Saturday
OAKLAND -- With Saturday's starter against the Angels to be determined, the A's ruled out Henderson Alvarez.
Alvarez is expected to throw roughly 70 pitches in a rehab assignment Saturday at Triple-A Nashville. A's manager Bob Melvin said the idea of Alvarez bypassing his rehab assignment and rejoining the rotation Saturday "has crossed our minds, but at this point, that's not going to be the case."
"I think based on what happened last time, he really needs to get to that [pitch] threshold," Melvin said. "Trust me, I'd love to do it. If we knew it was going to be 70 pitches [at the Major League level], it would be really exciting. But as I sit here right now, that's not going to happen."
The 26-year-old underwent right shoulder surgery last July. He previously made six rehab starts this season but left his final appearance May 15 with shoulder soreness, causing Oakland to shut him down for over a week.
Sonny Gray was scheduled to make a rehab start before the A's instead activated him from the disabled list June 5, starting him against Houston after he recovered from a shoulder strain. But due to the nature of Alvarez's injury and his lengthy recovery process, the team is proceeding with caution in the hopes of avoiding another setback.
Oakland has limited options on the 40-man roster. Only Zach Neal and Eric Surkamp are the healthy starting options, but Surkamp is scheduled to start Sunday. Melvin, who has used Neal out of the bullpen twice against the Rangers, said the righty remains an option. Jesse Hahn is also on the 40-man roster, but he was optioned to Triple-A within the last 10 days and can't come back up unless there is an injury.
Chris Smith and Dillon Overton are options at the Triple-A level, although calling either up requires the A's to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. Smith is scheduled to pitch Friday, while Overton pitched Wednesday. Oakland has 11 players, including six starting pitchers, on the disabled list.
"It's full and overfull, based on the DLs," Melvin said of the 40-man roster. "We're about as far as you can go. We'll figure it out. It's been beneficial that we've been able to put guys on the 60-day DL to be able to get guys like [No. 13 prospect Daniel] Mengden and others here. But at this point, it's about as full as it can get."
*Mark Chiarelli * is a reporter for MLB.com based in Oakland.