The Oakland Athletics have returned closer Sean Doolittle to the 15-day disabled list, this time saying he has a shoulder strain.
Doolittle had been on the DL after having a partially torn rotator cuff and had been activated on May 26. He made one appearance for the Athletics on Wednesday.
Doolittle allowed a hit but struck out two, throwing two curve balls, two sliders and nine fastballs for a total of 14 pitches to get out of the inning. His velocity was not as high as usual with his fastball barely hitting 90 mph.
It is unknown at this point if his velocity issues are connected to his shoulder strain. At the time many assumed that his arm strength just hadn’t been built up yet as it would be during spring training. This still makes sense as Doolittle did not participate in the spring and was still working on his recovery during the first month of the season.
Prior to the the club making an official announcement MLB.com reporter Jane Lee noted on Twitter that Doolittle had been looking uncomfortable while throwing lately,
Doolittle, who appeared uncomfortable playing catch yesterday and didn’t participate in PFP, could be headed back to DL.
— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) May 30, 2015
Doolittle has been placed on the disabled list retroactive to May 28. The team has recalled RHP Angel Castro who was sent down to Triple-A Nashville when Doolittle was activated on May 26.
Castro made one appearance for the Nashville Sounds between then and now in which he got one strike out and earned a save against the Athletics’ former Triple-A affiliate, the Sacramento River Cats.
While with Oakland prior to May 26, Castro made four appearances for the club. He pitched 3.0 innings, striking out three and allowing a run (on a solo homer) and three walks.
The news of Doolittle’s return to the DL is not great for Oakland whose bullpen has been struggling.