Notes: Rainout; progress for Mengden, Puk

March 11th, 2020

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The A’s and Angels held out hope to get Wednesday's Cactus League game at Tempe Diablo Stadium in, even postponing the scheduled 1 p.m. PT start by one hour, but a downpour of rain in the Phoenix area led to the official cancellation of the contest.

Sean Manaea was scheduled to make his fourth Cactus League start and expected to increase his workload to around 70 pitches. He won’t get pushed back a day, instead throwing a side session Wednesday afternoon at the A's complex in Mesa to keep his arm on a normal routine. A’s No. 1 prospect Jesus Luzardo is still on track to start Thursday’s game in Glendale against the Dodgers.

Mengden set to throw
Right-hander will make progress in his rehab Friday as he’s expected to play catch for the first time since undergoing elbow surgery on Feb. 10. With an original timetable of about 8-10 weeks, Friday’s session will be a small step in the right direction.

“This type of thing he had wasn’t as significant as Tommy John or anything like that,” said A’s manager Bob Melvin. “He increases our depth, with a return in the middle of the season probably the timetable. I know he’s excited about it.”

Dealing with the discomfort in his elbow on and off for the past two years, Mengden went 5-2 with a 4.83 ERA in 13 games (nine starts) with the A’s last season.

“This is a guy who has a lot of experience and at times has pitched really well for us,” Melvin said, referencing Mengden’s two complete game shutouts from 2017-18. “Now being completely healthy, once he comes back, he’s another option for us.”

Puk plays catch
Lefty continued playing catch Wednesday morning as he progresses from a mild shoulder strain. The A’s training staff is expected to lay out a throwing program for Puk in the next couple of days. There won’t be enough time to stretch him out for a starting role in time for Opening Day, but the club hopes to have him available as a reliever by the start of the regular season on March 26.

Up next
Luzardo makes his fourth Cactus League start in a 1:05 p.m. PT tilt with the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch on Thursday. The 22-year-old has been nothing short of spectacular this spring, racking up 13 strikeouts while allowing just one run over 8 1/3 innings.