|Street close to return for A's|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 16 July 2007 16:20|
Oakland manager Bob Geren said Street threw 34 pitches and reported no pain after facing hitters for the first time in nearly two months. He has been on the disabled list since May 15 with problems in his right elbow,
``It'd be tough for me to be more satisfied with the way today went,'' Street said. ``It just felt great. You can sit there and throw bullpens all day long, and you think you throw a good slider, but you never know until you see a guy swing at it and you see guys taking cuts. I felt like I got back into it pretty easy. It's been a long wait.''
Street was 2-1 with a 2.50 ERA and had nine saves in 11 opportunities before irritation in his ulnar nerve forced the right-hander onto the DL in mid-May.
His outing on Monday was good news for an A's staff that has been beset by injuries all season.
Rich Harden was placed on the disabled list on July 12 for the second time this season, while top setup man Justin Duchscherer is out for the year with a hip injury and right-hander Kiko Calero only recently returned from the DL.
Esteban Loaiza, projected to be a part of Oakland's starting rotation before the season began, has been on the DL since March 25. The right-hander threw off the mound for the first time on Monday, but isn't ready to rejoin the team just yet.
Street will throw another simulated game on Wednesday and is scheduled to make a one-inning rehab appearance in the minor leagues. Geren said the team could activate Street on July 23 when the A's visit the Angels.
Oakland has used lefty Alan Embree as its closer in Street's absence. Embree went into Monday's game against Texas with nine saves in 11 chances, and could remain Oakland's closer even after Street is activated.
``That we haven't even discussed,'' Street said. ``I think they want to see health first and then we'll strategize. From a physical standpoint, I'm fine. I'm probably in better shape than when I went on the DL. Mentally, there's a little minor adjustment, but I still have two outings left and so I should have all those mental kinks worked out.''
The A's made three additional roster moves after trading catcher Jason Kendall to the Chicago Cubs on Monday.
Left-hander Dallas Braden was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento to start Monday's game against Texas, and Oakland designated right-hander Colby Lewis for assignment. Lewis was 0-2 with an 8.06 ERA in 19 rough appearances.
The A's also optioned right-hander Connor Robertson to Sacramento after activating him from the DL.