ANAHEIM – Shortstop Jed Lowrie was scheduled to take batting practice Thursday for the first time since breaking his finger, which will give the A’s a gauge on how ready he is for a minor league rehab assignment.
Lowrie gradually has been doing more and more baseball activity to test his right index finger. The main issue is throwing the ball, but taking a full round of batting practice will help the A’s determine if Lowrie is ready to begin a rehab stint as soon as Saturday with Triple-A Sacramento.
Lowrie, who is eligible to be activated from the D.L. on Friday, said his throwing is slowly coming along.
“Not bad,” he said before Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels. “I can put a little more on the ball now. (Throwing) is why I went on the D.L. in the first place.”
He wouldn’t speculate on how long of a rehab stint he might need. Sacramento’s regular season ends Monday, but the River Cats are trying to position themselves for a playoff berth.
Second baseman Nick Punto, recovering from a strained right hamstring, has taken batting practice and fielded grounders for the past couple days but still isn’t able to run full speed.
“As soon as he can run 100 percent, we’ll get him out,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “He’s not quite there yet.”
Not surprisingly, Melvin said catcher John Jaso isn’t likely to be activated Sunday, when he’s eligible to come off the seven-day concussion D.L. Jaso has yet to begin any baseball activity.
In a bit of good news for the A’s, closer Sean Doolittle reported having a good day Wednesday in his rehab from a strained intercostal (side) muscle. But Doolittle is still expected to be sidelined multiple weeks, with no timetable set yet for his return.