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MLB.com’s Martín Gallegos reports that the Athletics have placed pitcher A.J. Puk on the injured list due to a left shoulder strain. Puk will meet with Dr. Neal ElAttrache to determine how to proceed. Puk, 25, initially suffered a left shoulder strain during spring training in March and was shut down. He had been throwing bullpens and was deemed to be healthy again late last month.
Puk, the Athletics’ first-round draft pick (sixth overall) in 2016, was set to open the season in the starting rotation. The former top prospect made his major league debut last season after recovering from Tommy John surgery, appearing in 10 games out of the bullpen. He gave up four runs on 10 hits and five walks with 13 strikeouts over 11 1/3 innings.
Daniel Mengden will assume Puk’s spot in the Athletics’ starting rotation. The 27-year-old right-hander has a 4.68 ERA in 290 1/3 innings across parts of four seasons in the majors since debuting in 2016. The rest of the rotation includes Sean Manaea, Frankie Montas, Mike Fiers, and Chris Bassitt. Jesús Luzardo missed the first two weeks of training camp after testing positive for COVID-19, but could rejoin the rotation in August.