A’s Montas showing positive signs, will make next scheduled start

OAKLAND — Things are going in the right direction for A starter Frankie Montas, who reported no issues a day after returning to the mound after dealing with shoulder inflammation.

Montas was feeling “normal post-pitch pain,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay told reporters ahead of Friday night’s series opener against Texas. Kotsay said his right-hander, who is hot merchandise, is “ready to go” for his next start before the August 2 deadline.

The A’s, however, have yet to sign up a starting pitcher for any of the games in their three-game home series against Houston starting Monday.

Pitching for the first time since quitting his July 3 start after just one inning with a shoulder issue, Montas went three innings against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday. He was retired after throwing 53 pitches and striking out five batters. Montas’ fastball on Thursday floated around 96-97 mph to start the game and hovered around 94 mph.

He didn’t get a decision in Oakland’s 5-0 win in Game 2 of the doubleheader.

Scouts from across the league were on hand Thursday to see how the 29-year-old Montas would fare upon his return. As one of the most attractive starting pitchers available on the market, Montas is expected to be treated.

Meanwhile, the A’s are eager to get a first-hand look at another pitcher who’s just joined the roster.

Right-hander David McKay was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas in a move that included sending left-hander Domingo Tapia back to Vegas.

The A’s are McKay’s third team this season, as he has been back and forth between the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees. McKay, 27, was claimed off waivers by the A’s of the Rays on July 12. He hasn’t allowed a run in his two relief appearances for Las Vegas and has a combined 3.45 ERA in Triple-A this season.

However, McKay hasn’t had much success at the big league level this year — he’s allowed four runs in four innings.

“Right now we’re looking to have him play a part in the middle heats and assess from there, like all these guys have, and try to kind of give them a softer landing spot if possible and boost his confidence,” Kotsay said.

Zach Logue, who was the 27th man in the double-A program, was also sent back to Triple-A.

Trainer room

Closer Dany Jiménez will have a 25-pitch bullpen session on Saturday and, if all goes well, will pitch to batters on Tuesday, according to Kotsay. Jiménez has been nursing a strained right shoulder since June 19.

Infielder Jed Lowrie, who is on injured reserve with a sprained left shoulder, looked good during live batting practice Friday.

Also, the rehabilitation of infielder/wide receiver Jonah Bride is going well. He hit .400 with a home run and three RBIs while out of rehab. He has been on the injured list since June 17 with a strained right shoulder.

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