Oakland A’s: A.J. Puk ready to take next step in rehab process
By David Hill
A.J Puk is slowly getting closer to a return to the Oakland A’s, as he is set to take the next step in his rehab process.
The Oakland A’s may not necessarily be looking at making many moves at the trade deadline, but that does not mean that reinforcements will not be on the way. A.J. Puk is expected to contribute to the A’s at some point this season as he works his way back from his ongoing shoulder issues.
That next step comes on Friday. Puk is set to throw 30 pitches over two innings to hitters, marking his second time on the mound.
At this point, the A’s do not know when Puk will be back in the majors. However, his outing on Friday should help establish a timeline.
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If Puk is able to return, he would be an excellent addition to what is already a buzzsaw of a bullpen. He showed his potential last season, allowing four runs on ten hits and five walks over his 11.1 innings, striking out 13 batters.
It is entirely possible that the A’s would get the same sort of production from Puk if he is healthy. With his high octane fastball and power slider, Puk could be a weapon in the mold of Josh Hader. It is even possible that he ends up as the A’s closer of the future, as he has the type of stuff one would want in a ninth inning role.
But the key is that Puk needs to be healthy first. The shoulder is feeling okay now, but he will need to see how it feels following his outing on Friday. From there, the A’s will take the next steps in determining Puk’s progress, and possibly map out a timetable for his return to the majors.
A.J. Puk is taking the next step in his recovery process. Hopefully, he will be able to return to the majors soon.