ARLINGTON, Texas — There is a good vibe around the progress Jesús Luzardo is making from his left shoulder strain.
Luzardo was given a timetable of 4-6 weeks for a shutdown period from any throwing. Thursday will mark the fourth week since the diagnosis on the A’s No. 1 prospect.
Luzardo is still not throwing, but A’s manager Bob Melvin said the left-hander is feeling “fantastic” about his progress. Luzardo has been staying in shape by going through his regular cardio workouts and strength training for his arm.
“He’s chomping at the bit. He wants to throw,” Melvin said before Sunday’s game against the Texas Rangers. “But we also understand for a guy like him, when you set a timetable, you don’t want to speed it up. We want to make sure he’s fully healthy. Are we excited about getting him back at some point? Absolutely.”
The best case scenario for Luzardo would be to start throwing again at some point in the next couple of weeks. He would have to build his arm up in minor league games, which would put him in line for a potential Major League debut at some point in June if all goes well.
Luzardo, 21, was brilliant for the A’s in spring training before the injury. He compiled a 0.93 ERA in four Cactus League games with 15 strikeouts and four walks while holding opposing batters to a .176 batting average over 9 2/3 innings of work, competing for a spot in the Opening Day rotation.
“We feel good enough about everyone in our bullpen to where we can spread it around a little bit. Going into the season JB looked to be kind of the long man and next thing you know he’s pitching in the seventh or eighth inning at times. There isn’t a guy in our bullpen we don’t feel good about.”
— Sean Manaea (shoulder) is now throwing from 120 feet while Jharel Cotton (Tommy John surgery) faced hitters last week for the second time in his rehab process.
— Outfielder Nick Martini (knee) is now taking part in full baseball activities down at the A’s minor league complex in Arizona.