Oakland Athletics benefiting from extended rehab during season delay

Oakland Athletics (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)
Oakland Athletics (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images) /

The Oakland Athletics are enjoying some extra R&R during the season delay

The Oakland Athletics and the rest of the MLB are still awaiting the start of the 2020 season. For many, the lengthy delay has been grueling and tiresome. But for others, it’s provided a much-needed opportunity to get some extra rest.

The A’s are experiencing this firsthand with a few of their players using this delayed start to rehab injuries that otherwise would have forced them to miss time. And if there is any silver lining to this ongoing situation, that’s it.

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In this case, we’re referring to three players who have all been able to benefit from the increased time off — Stephen Piscotty, Daniel Mengden, and A.J. Puk.

Piscotty spent some time on the sidelines last season playing just 93 games. And when he was on the field, he wasn’t the same above-average hitter the team had seen the year prior. But he was, at least, fairly competent.

The 29-year-old was set to enter the 2020 season as the A’s right fielder before suffering an oblique injury in early March. That injury would have likely kept him out for at least the first month of the season with an estimated 6-8 week timetable.

However, the A’s may not need to worry about that now.

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Piscotty seems confident that he will be ready to play whenever the MLB season kicks off meaning that the extra time off to rehab certainly did him wonders.

The same is true for Mengden who underwent a procedure to remove a bone spur in his right elbow a day before spring training officially opened. That essentially ended any chance he had of making the Opening Day roster.

The 27-year-old started nine games with the team last season and was expected to compete for one of the final spots in the rotation. Now, he might actually be given a fair crack at making the final roster.

Mengden has been discussed as a possible midseason bullpen candidate but since that “midseason” might actually be when the actual season begins, there’s a good chance that the A’s utilize him as a reliever come Opening Day.

Puk, on the other hand, entered spring training with a ton of hype surrounding him, but pitched in just two games in the Cactus League before being sidelined by a shoulder strain. Still, the hope was that he could compete for a bullpen spot while his arm worked back to full strength.

That appeared to be the direction the A’s were going to take before the shutdown, which raises the question, what happens now? Puk has had time to rehab and his arm must be close to 100 percent

Could we see A.J. Puk given a spot in the A’s rotation as soon as Opening Day? It’s certainly possible.

Next. Oakland Athletics: Two former A’s hurlers are on the comeback trail. dark

The ongoing league shutdown is disappointing for a variety of reasons. But for these three A’s players, it’s been somewhat of a blessing in disguise.