The Athletics have placed closer Sean Doolittle on the 10-day disabled list with a left shoulder strain, the team announced. However, the injury may keep him out for “at least two months,” according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
The injury is a tough one for Doolittle, as it is the fourth shoulder injury in three seasons. The 30-year-old southpaw missed 59 games last season with a similar injury and 121 games in 2015 with two different shoulder injuries. Before the injuries, Doolittle was an All-Star in 2014 and helped the A’s reach the playoffs in his first three seasons from 2012-14. In his 2014 campaign, he saved 22 games, posted a 2.73 ERA and a 0.73 WHIP with 89 strikeouts in 62 2⁄3 innings pitched.
This season, he and the A’s tried to “ease his workload” in spring training in hopes of preventing any more injuries. When the regular season started, he looked good for the most part in nine appearances, as he posted a 0.78 WHIP and had 11 Ks in 7 2⁄3 innings. Though his ERA was at a 3.52, hitters were only batting .185 against him.
To fill Doolittle’s spot on the roster, the A’s recalled right-handed pitcher Bobby Wahl. A fifth-round draft pick in 2013 out of Ole Miss, Wahl had three saves and a 1.93 ERA at Triple-A Nashville this season. The 25-year-old Wahl is “seen as a possible closer” in the big leagues, according to Slusser. For now, the A’s are turning to Santiago Casilla to close out ballgames, and will also rely on Ryan Madson, Ryan Dull and Daniel Menhaden to face lefties more often.