OAKLAND — Stephen Piscotty walked in to the Athletics clubhouse around 2 p.m. Saturday, four hours before Game 2 of a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners, looking no different than any other day other than a bandage on the outer lobe of his right ear.
He visited with manager Bob Melvin and a couple of teammates, updating them on his condition after having surgery to remove a melanoma, and through an Athletics spokesman declined to speak to he media, saying he’d talk “at a future date.”
Piscotty then changed and went to the workout room.
Since the Athletics have not placed Piscotty on the injured list, he is eligible to play, although Melvin is holding off for now.
“It’s a day to day proposition. We’ll see how he makes it through the day,” Melvin said. “As I sit here right now I don’t plan to start him tomorrow. But I think the training staff will have something to say about that, and he will as well. I’d say tomorrow would be a stretch.”
But Piscotty’s presence was uplifting whether he plays or not.
“It’s good to see him. Everybody’s been a little bit worried about him,” Melvin said. “It’s nice to get him back as quickly as we have. He’s going to do some stuff in the gym a little bit. I know his ear is still bothering him some. Back quicker than you would expect. We’ll see how it plays into tomorrow and into Monday. But it’s nice to have him back in the clubhouse.”
Melvin said Piscotty, who rarely showed emotion last season even when his mother Gretchen was in the latter stages of ALS before her death on May 6 at age 55, has stayed in character.
“He never really wants to be a burden on anybody else,” Melvin said. “Just kind of flying under the radar and just get back as soon as he can. Just kind of the way Stephen is.”
With Piscotty out of the lineup, Chad Pinder will start in right field for the second consecutive game. Piscotty is hitting .250 with eight home runs and 29 RBIs.
— Pitcher Jeff Gossett, who has missed 71 games this season while slowly recovering from Tommy John surgery, threw 20 pitches off the mound.
“All fastballs, catcher moved up in front of home plate, so that gets him started,” Melvin said. “Looked really good.”
Gossett is still a ways off from actual pitching in terms of rehab assignments, simulated games and the like.
— Backup catcher Nick Hundley, out with back spasms, was in the club house but walking stiffly. He is eligible to return June 18 from the injured list but Melvin said his absence would go beyond that date.’
“He had some shots in the back. we’re hoping that works and alleviates some of the issues he’s got,” Melvin said. “But it is a pretty severe deal that he had going on.”
— Seattle had its starting pitcher as “TBA” Friday, will begin with Gerson Bautista (0-0, 5.40 earned run average) as the “opener” and then go to left-hander Wade LeBlanc (3-2, 5.31 ERA) against the Athletics’ Frankie Montas (8-2, 2.84).
— Joe DeMers, the College Park High standout who played at the University of Washington before being drafted last year by the Athletics in the 11th round, threw three scoreless innings of relief for the Single-A Beloit Snappers in a 5-2 win over Kane County. He registered his first save.
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