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Blackburn to miss more than minimum DL time

Melvin hopes to get Nunez at-bats after September callup
MLB.com

OAKLAND -- The A's will have to wait longer than the minimum 10 days on the disabled list to get rookie Paul Blackburn back into the starting rotation.

After being drilled by a comebacker Tuesday in Baltimore, Blackburn was placed on the DL on Friday while dealing with swelling in his right hand and limited range of motion. His hand hasn't progressed as the club hoped he would have so far.

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OAKLAND -- The A's will have to wait longer than the minimum 10 days on the disabled list to get rookie Paul Blackburn back into the starting rotation.

After being drilled by a comebacker Tuesday in Baltimore, Blackburn was placed on the DL on Friday while dealing with swelling in his right hand and limited range of motion. His hand hasn't progressed as the club hoped he would have so far.

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"Right now, he hasn't gotten to the point where he's able to play catch or really even grip a baseball," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It may take a little longer than we originally anticipated."

Blackburn is eligible to return on Sept. 2, but the A's will have him do some more testing in the coming days, leading Melvin to believe Blackburn won't start in the next 7-10 days. Melvin doesn't expect the injury to end the right-hander's season, though.

"Nothing has come across my desk that would suggest that," Melvin said. "Until I hear something along those lines, and I hope I don't, that isn't the case right now."

The skipper called Blackburn "a terrific surprise" for the A's after being acquired in an offseason trade with the Mariners for Danny Valencia. The 23-year-old made his Major League debut July 1, and quickly became a reliable starter for Oakland, going 3-1 with a 3.22 ERA in 10 starts.

Worth noting

With rosters set to expand on Friday, Melvin hinted that slugger Renato Nunez will be one of the players called up to the A's at some point early in the month. But the skipper added it will be a challenge to make sure everyone gets their opportunities.

"It's unfair for some of the guys who have been playing every day to all of a sudden get their at-bats cut short significantly, so it's going to be a little bit of a balancing act," Melvin said. "But we do need to find out about Nunez. His bat, we've seen it in Spring Training, and everybody that you talk to says his bat will play at the big league level. We have to give him some at-bats to see."

Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.

Oakland Athletics, Paul Blackburn