04/24/10 4:40 PM ET
Lefty Blevins says return is near
By Willie Bans / Special to MLB.com
Blevins played catch at varying lengths before Saturday's game and said he felt fine.
He's been listed as day-to-day with back spasms, but Blevins said it was only really one spasm and since then, it's been tight. The focus has been loosening it up.
What's worked so far?
"Rest, just being down a couple of days, treatment," Blevins said. "I'd say in the next couple of days [I'll be ready]. You'll have to ask the experts, but I feel pretty good."
Blevins' absence caused the A's to option Landon Powell to Sacramento and call up Brad Kilby to add another lefty in the bullpen.
Blevins has a 3.38 ERA in eight innings over eight appearances, with nine strikeouts and four walks.
Now healthy, A's Kilby finds groove
OAKLAND --- A's left-handed reliever Brad Kilby's Spring Training line -- 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in 10 appearances -- sounded bad to him, too.
"Spring Training was just a nightmare for me," he said before Saturday's game against the Indians.
The reason was two-fold. Shoulder fatigue, which he didn't tell anyone about initially, and a mechanical issue that affected his arm slot.
As for the shoulder, he felt tightness in it from March 10-April 10. Few knew about it because Kilby was trying to make the big league club.
"I don't know if that contributed to my wildness or if I was putting too much pressure on myself to make the team," Kilby, 27, said. "If I was a proven veteran I would have spoken up, but I was trying to make the team."
On the final day of Spring Training, he was sent down to Triple-A Sacramento, where he told trainers and the coaching staff. The trainers got him healthy; the staff found the mechanical problem.
"I was throwing at a lower arm slot than last year," said Kilby, comparing the spring to 2009, when he had a 2.13 ERA in 45 relief appearances with Sacramento and a 0.53 ERA during 11 late games with the A's. "I turned it up like two clicks and was throwing over the top. I was more like low-three-quarter, now I'm like mid-three-quarter. Nothing too drastic, but just something where if you hadn't pitched like that ever, it's going to put a different strain on it."
At Sacramento, Kilby had a 1.69 ERA in five appearances, and his velocity, which was 83-89 mph in the spring, jumped to 89-93 mph.
He was around the high end of that range when he retired the side in the ninth inning Saturday.
"He started pitching like his old self," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "It was a pretty good inning -- good fastball, the velocity was there."
So was Kilby's poise.
"I got my swagger back that I had last year," Kilby said. "My confidence is through the roof right now."
A's righty Michael Wuertz is scheduled to pitch Sunday for Class A Stockton in Modesto, according to Oakland manager Bob Geren. ... Reliever Joey Devine is also scheduled to visit Dr. James Andrews on Monday. Geren said Devine will likely get an MRI. ... Though the A's scored 10 runs on 12 hits in the win Friday, they were batting .224 in their past 13 games entering Saturday after batting .296 in their first five games.
Willie Bans is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.