When Chris Bassitt was struck in the face by a line drive, there were questions as to whether or not he would return this season. While Bassitt said that he would be back, that seemed to be wishful thinking after his surgery to repair his facial fractures. The hope was that he would not have any lasting effects and be ready to reclaim his spot atop the Oakland A’s rotation in 2022.
Instead, Bassitt is determined to return. On Thursday, he indicated that he will be throwing a bullpen session soon.
Oakland A’s desperately need Chris Bassitt
The A’s have slid down the standings since Bassitt was injured. Once the top team in the Wild Card chase, and challenging for the AL West crown, the A’s find themselves two games out of the second Wild Card berth as of Friday. Manager Bob Melvin said that the team was in need of a spark, something that could light that fire and lead to one last run for the postseason.
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Seeing Bassitt get closer to making his return could be that spark they need. The wind came out of the A’s sails after that injury as they were unable to overcome the loss of their top starter. Bassitt had become the stopper in the rotation, the pitcher that the rest of the team fed off of in terms of their confidence.
While this is a tremendous step in the right direction, Bassitt still has a long way to go. If his bullpen session is successful, he still needs to face live hitters and possibly have a rehab outing or two. Seeing how he reacts when facing batters will be the key to his recovery, especially given the nature of his injury.
But even being this close to a return could make a major impact on the A’s. The idea that Bassitt could return this season, especially if the A’s reach the postseason, could be that spark they need. His presence has been desperately missed in terms of both his production and the confidence level of the rest of the pitching staff.
Chris Bassitt is getting closer to returning to the Oakland A’s. His impending bullpen session is a step in the right direction.