Laureano 'absolutely dialed in' in BP session

Gossett faces hitters; Manaea dazzles in rehab start

August 25th, 2019

OAKLAND -- With no firm timetable on a return from a stress reaction in his right shin, is doing everything he can to remain as game-ready as possible.

Laureano faced live pitching for the first time since July 28 on Friday night, taking part in a live batting-practice session with the Class A Advanced Stockton Ports.

, who is currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, was the pitcher throwing to hitters in Stockton. He returned to the Coliseum on Saturday with a full scouting report on the A's center fielder.

"Ramon is absolutely dialed in," Gossett said before Saturday's game against the Giants. "He hit a changeup about 600 feet, so that was fun. He's locked in. I think I got him squared away."

Laureano actually homered twice off Gossett in addition to drawing a walk, something he made sure to mention to A's manager Bob Melvin as he walked into Melvin's office upon returning from Stockton on Saturday morning.

"I found that out really quickly when I got to the ballpark from him," Melvin said. "He came in to tell me how good Gossett's stuff was, I asked him how he did, and he said he hit two home runs. He felt great."

The true sign that will tell how close Laureano is to returning will come once he gets his running progression up to a near-daily basis. He's been taking days off in between running drills, participating in sprints on the field before Saturday's game for the first time since Tuesday.

But the A's want to keep his bat sharp and plan to find more at-bats for him at the A's Minor League complex in Arizona at some point in the coming week. Melvin said going about the rehab this way will help speed up the process.

"What we're trying to do is shorten this period where usually you go about the physical stuff," Melvin said. "If we can get him some at-bats here before he even starts running regularly, I think we can get him back sooner rather than later."

As important as Friday's session was for Laureano, it was also a special day for Gossett.

The live 30-pitch batting practice marked the first semblance of competitive action the right-hander has taken part in since undergoing Tommy John surgery last August.

"Just getting back into it, getting back to facing hitters," Gossett said. "I got to throw all my pitches and got some swings and misses on a couple of breaking balls. It was fun to get back in the swing of what a game would feel like. I was excited."

Gossett will continue throwing live batting practices before eventually progressing to simulated games. A return this season is not in the cards, but Gossett plans to play in the Arizona Fall League to build up his arm before returning to a more normal offseason come January.

Manaea impresses again

appears to be all the way back from his shoulder rehab.

The left-hander was dominant in an outing for Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday night, allowing just two hits and a walk as he racked up 12 strikeouts over seven shutout innings. With his arm built up -- he threw 99 pitches -- there are no more tests for Manaea to pass; he just might not have a spot available in an A's rotation that has seen its five starters combine to post a 3.11 ERA over their last 22 games entering Saturday.

Could the A's turn to a six-man rotation to make room for their 2018 ace? Melvin didn't rule it out, pointing to a stretch of 16 consecutive games coming up in September.

"There is a potential for anything," Melvin said. "We play seven games, have an off-day, then have 16 in a row. We'll be in September at that time, but that's a pretty long stretch. We'll see. I'm not sure yet."