Athletics’ Piscotty available off bench Sunday, should start Monday

Right-fielder had surgery on right ear Thursday to remove form of skin cancer

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – MAY 27: Stephen Piscotty #25 of the Oakland Athletics hits a two RBI single during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 27, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
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OAKLAND — As Stephen Piscotty awaits what he expects to be good news, may as well play a little ball.

The Athletics right-fielder will be available off the bench Sunday in the last game of a three-game series agianst the Seattle Mariners, and is expected to start Monday night against the Baltimore Orioles.

Piscotty underwent surgery Thursday to remove a melanoma from the outer lobe of his right ear. He’s wearing a bandage to cover stitches (Piscotty doesn’t know how many) and will wear a double-flap helmet for a time to protect the ear when running the bases.

Pathology on the mole removed by doctors will be be available Tuesday.

“I was definitely a little spooked,” Piscotty said regarding the initial diagnosis. “When you hear the word cancer it’s not something you want to hear. That being said, it was the best case scenario. It was super early. I’m in good hands. I’ll get the all clear on Tuesday, fingers crossed for that. Hopefully that comes out good and I don’t have to worry about it.”

Mark Canha will start in right field against Seattle after Chad Pinder played in Piscotty’s spot for the first two games of the series.

“I could potentially use him off the bench today, so he’s feeling that much better,” Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. “The plan is to start tomorrow as long as today goes well. We’ll see where the game goes and if we need to use him or not. If he feels great, then we expect to have him in the lineup tomorrow.”

Piscotty is thankful he heeded the advice of those who told him to make sure he got checked routinely.

“I’ve got a lot of moles as it is and have been told for years to go get it checked,” Piscotty said. I’m glad I went when I did. Glad they caught it early. We’ve got to make sure we wear a lot of sun screen. We’re out in the sun every day, even when it’s a night game for (batting practice), so I (I’ve) got to make sure I do that from now on.”

Manaea on track

Pitcher Sean Manaea was enthused about a 45-pitch simulated three-inning game Saturday in Arizona against minor-league players.

Pitcher Sean Manaea after his no-hitter last season.

“Arm felt awesome,” Manaea said. “I was throwiMng all my stuff for strikes. Today I feel a little sore, but I feel real good.”

Manaea went on the disabled list last August for shoulder trouble and had surgery in September. He had a 12-9 record, a 3.59 earned run average and pitched 160 2/3 innings. His season included a 3-0 no-hitter with 10 strikeouts against the Boston Red Sox on April 21.

Manaea said his velocity was “87 to 89)  miles per hour.

“I was getting after it pretty hard, but velo I’m not really worried about,” Manaea said. “Just making sure everything feels good and recovering well. The velo will come with more reps.”

Melvin said reports about Manaea’s performance were good and that a rehab assignment to a minor league team could be in the offing.

“Threw 45 pitches, so that means he’s getting his pitch count up,” Melvin said. “I think the plan is to do another one of those before he goes out. We want to make sure he’s really comfortable, but everything he’s done along the way and certainly yesterday has been according to plan.”

Manaea’s next simulated game will probably be 60 pitches, Melvin said.

Manaea is hoping to pitch for the Athletics at some point this season.

“Depending on how things go, if I keep feeling great, hopefully I’ll be out there soon,” Manaea said.

 

 

 

 

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