It is definitely a good thing that the Oakland Athletics beefed up their bullpen with strength and depth this off season. Even with the loss of closer Grant Balfour to free agency, the A's were able to bring in some very capable relief pitchers in Luke Gregerson, Jim Johnson and Eric O'Flaherty. O'Flaherty who is coming off of Tommy John surgery, will not be ready until May at the earliest but should still be a huge help to the Athletics after today's disturbing news.
It was announced Friday, via Jane Lee on Twitter, that both of the A's main set up men, Ryan Cook and Sean Doolittle, are already dealing with injuries,
@JaneMLB Cook will be a couple weeks behind. He's been dealing with shoulder inflammation. Melvin thinks he will be ready by OD.@JaneMLB Doolittle also dealing with a setback. He has a right calf strain that will hold him back from throwing for a few days.
Ryan Cook's injury is more of a concern than Doolittle's since it involves the arm but seeing that as of now it is only inflammation there is a strong chance of recovery before the season opens. Cook, 26, has a 2.30 ERA with the Athletics since coming over from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Trevor Cahill deal. In 2o13 with Oakland the right-hander was had a 2.54 ERA in 67 1/3 innings pitched.
|Sean showing his classic move dubbed by fans as "Doolittling"|
The left-hander Doolittle, 27, had a 3.13 ERA in 2013 in 69 innings with the Athletics last season. Since being called up in early 2012, the former first baseman turned pitcher, has a 3.09 ERA and 9.3K/9 in 116 1/3 total innings.
Thankfully for the Oakland Athletics, their bullpen and their concerned fans it appears that both pitchers will be ready for Opening Day. It will also be a good time to test the bullpen's new depth, during Spring Training and not during the regular season. If for some reason the pair are not ready for Opening Day the A's stellar relief staff, considered by many to be the best in baseball, should be able to hold down the fort until Cook and Doolittle are healthy again.
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