The Oakland A’s have two players making great leaps in their recovery this week.
Ryan Cook is currently out with a forearm strain and threw his first bullpen on Tuesday to help in his rehab process. This was his first bullpen since being placed on the disabled list. Cook was able to throw all of his pitches during the 22 pitch session and plans to throw a more lengthy bullpen on Thursday. After Thursday, the A’s will decide if he needs a minor league rehab assignment or if he is capable of heading straight back into the active lineup.
Cook was ecstatic to be back.
“Today was great,” he said, via MLB.com. “It’s one thing to be confident the whole time, but then to actually respond the way you feel is obviously a little relieving. Honestly I was thoroughly surprised with how good it was today, actually.”
A’s manager Bob Melvin was impressed with how well he did.
“He looked like he had never missed a beat,” Melvin said, via MLB.com. “We feel like we dodged a bullet as far as what the injury looked like originally. He was going after every one of his pitches, throwing his slider as hard as he could throw it.”
Eric O’Flaherty is in the process of recovering from a Tommy John surgery and was able to throw a simulated game on Thursday. He told reporters that he feels he is major league ready.
“Everything feels great,” O’Flaherty said. “It feels natural, pretty similar to how it felt before I even had the surgery. Where I’m at mentally, it’s pretty good. When you first come out of surgery, the first four months, you don’t doubt the process, but there are days when you’re thinking, ‘How am I ever going to throw again?’ Now where it’s at, I can’t even tell I had surgery.”
Despite feeling ready, he knows there is no point in rushing things and that he must remain patient. He hopes to make his debut in June.
The A’s being able to add both Cook and O’Flaherty back into the lineup will be a great addition to a team that is currently topping the standings.