OAKLAND -- The A’s are going to be without Stephen Piscotty for at least the next couple of games, but they’re relieved the cause of his absence was not something worse.
Piscotty underwent successful surgery Thursday to remove a melanoma from his right ear. A mole was discovered May 28 during a routine spot check in Berkeley, Calif., with Dr. Joseph Chao, who recommended it be removed after a biopsy came back positive for the form of skin cancer.
The surgery was performed at California Pacific Medical Campus by Dr. Brian Parrett. Piscotty was given a day to rest at home Friday, but is expected to be back at the Coliseum on Saturday night for the second game of a three-game series with the Mariners.
“We believe it was caught early, hopefully as a result of Stephen being vigilant,” A’s general manager David Forst said. “This is something we talk about all the time with players and staff, protecting yourself from the sun and having yourself checked regularly.”
The A’s will hold off on a potential stint on the injured list for Piscotty until he receives a pathology report in the coming days, but Forst said the right fielder was in good spirits Thursday night as the two traded text messages following the surgery.
“We hope to see him tomorrow and hope he’ll be able to play within a week,” Forst said. “He’ll be able to play when he says he’s ready, and as an organization, we’re just trying to support whatever he needs. We’re very happy this was caught when it was.”
Though Piscotty's stitches on the outer lobe of his right ear will not be removed until Thursday, Forst said the stitches would not prevent him from playing before that time, if he is ready.
A’s manager Bob Melvin was aware of Piscotty’s issue during the club’s recent 10-game road trip, but in typical Piscotty fashion, he said the outfielder kept it low-key so as to not let it weigh down his own teammates and cause any potential worries.
“I think maybe what he went through last year,” Melvin said, referring to Piscotty dealing with his mother Gretchen’s battle with ALS. “I think in his mind this is probably minor as far as that goes, which it isn’t. But he just wanted to get it over with and get back as soon as possible.”
The 28-year-old is slashing .250/.314/.400 with eight home runs over 65 games this year.
“Obviously we’re thinking about him right now,” Melvin said. “At this point, we haven’t made a move. We’re trying to hold our hopes out that we get him back sooner than later.”
Manaea to throw in Arizona
Sean Manaea is scheduled to throw in a simulated game at the A’s Minor League complex in Arizona on Saturday. It’s a big step for the left-hander as he rehabs from shoulder surgery, and likely the final step before heading out on a Minor League rehab assignment.
“Whether or not he has to do a couple of those, we’ll see,” Melvin said.
Manaea would join the A's top two prospects, Jesus Luzardo and A.J. Puk, who recently got their first taste of 2019 game action; both pitched at Class A Advanced Stockton on Tuesday for the first time. Luzardo is recovering from a shoulder strain and Puk is coming off Tommy John surgery. All three are expected to pitch in the Major Leagues at some point this season, with Puk likely to take on more of a bullpen role as the club looks to limit his workload.
“Now they’re kind of on the clock pitching in games,” Melvin said. “That’s another thing we look forward to in the second half, bringing some of those guys aboard. I think in the back of everybody’s minds, we feel like we could get better if we add those three guys.”
Anderson to get another start
After an impressive Major League debut in Tampa Bay on Monday, in which he started and allowed two runs over 5 2/3 innings in a 6-2 loss to the Rays, Tanner Anderson will stick around in the Majors for a second start on Sunday against the Mariners.
“I did not expect that,” Melvin said of Anderson’s first start. “He went through a really good lineup with a lot of left-handers who were swinging the bat really well at the time. Didn’t look like there was any trepidation. He deserves a second start.”
Mike Fiers and Brett Anderson will each get an extra day of rest as a result, with the former now slated to pitch Monday and the latter on Tuesday.