OAKLAND – Right-hander Mason Miller’s return to the Oakland A’s following a four-month rehab process appears imminent, although it remains unclear as to when he’ll come off of the injured list and pitch in a big-league game again.
Miller threw three perfect innings for Triple-A Las Vegas on Saturday as he struck out four and didn’t allow a walk in another strong minor league outing. A’s manager Mark Kotsay said Miller, “felt great coming out of the game. So, we’ll probably bring him back here and evaluate him and determine where he makes his next start.”
Miller made his MLB debut for the A’s on April 19 and went 0-2 with a 3.38 ERA in four games before he came down with tightness in his right forearm in May. It was determined he had a sprain in his right ulnar collateral ligament, a diagnosis that allowed him to avoid surgery and potentially rejoin the big-league roster before the end of the regular season.
Miller, who was transferred to the 60-day IL on June 30, made his first rehab start on Aug. 16 for Single-A Stockton and threw two scoreless innings with two strikeouts. In five minor league starts, Miller, who turned 25 on Aug. 24, allowed just two earned runs in 10 2/3 innings, with five walks and 12 strikeouts.
The A’s begin a three-game home series with the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday, then start a week-long road trip with three-game sets against both the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros.
“It’s great for Mason, really, that he’s able to compete and have the confidence to go out and throw,” Kotsay said. “He’s still got a little ways to go. We want him to make sure every step of the way that he feels good and finishes up healthy at the end of the season.”
MEDINA RETURNING: The next outing for right-hander Luis Medina, on the 15-day IL with a blister on his finger, will likely be with the A’s, Kotsay said. Medina, who was eligible to come off the IL on Sunday, threw 3 1/3 innings for Las Vegas on Wednesday and reported no issues.
At the moment, the A’s do not have a starter listed for Tuesday’s game against the Jays. Ken Waldichuk is slated to pitch Monday and JP Sears will start Wednesday. Medina’s blister first developed during his outing against the Baltimore Orioles on Aug. 18.
LOCAL TIES: Los Angeles Angels infielder Kyren Paris, an East Bay native, picked up his first big league hit on Saturday, a day after he made his MLB debut. Paris, 21, attended Freedom High School and is the first player from Oakley to play in the major leagues, although the east Contra Costa city did not become incorporated until 1999.
“It was a special moment; one that I’ve dreamed of,” Paris said Saturday. “And for it to come true — it’s special.”
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Paris, a second-round draft by the Angels in 2019, was in Sunday’s lineup, hitting ninth. He said he wants to use this month as a time to showcase his abilities, “just showing that I’m capable of playing here and making an impact, that’s my goal. And helping the team win.”
Paris’ first hit came off Antioch native Paul Blackburn, who attended Heritage High School in Brentwood, a short drive from Freedom.
“Those are small towns,” Blackburn said of Brentwood and Oakley. “This area around here is a big area but … he grew up five miles from where I was. It’s cool to see.”