A’s starter Daniel Mengden would have missed all the regularly scheduled MLB games in April and May, anyway.
“I had three surgeries this offseason, it was fun,” Mengden sarcastically told NBC Sports California via FaceTime on Wednesday.
Two procedures were necessary to address a digestive issue, and the third was arthroscopic surgery on his throwing elbow in February.
The good news: Mengden should be on track to return, if MLB can.
“I’m about 95 percent,” Mengden said. “Throwing all pitches in bullpen sessions right now. For me, I’ve been on the high side, because I’m trying to get my arm back and feeling good.”
His offseason began in October with an undiagnosed intestinal issue which saw him quickly lose about 25 pounds.
“My doctor here thinks it was some sort of tapeworm that was eating away at me,” Mengden said. “I don’t know if you saw me [in Arizona], or if I looked a little smaller. Right about spring training I was on the climb back up.”
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The mustached righty is eager for baseball to resume games, but also recognizes the realistic hygiene challenges baseball can’t avoid, specifically for a pitcher via saliva and sweat.
“It comes so natural to some of us,” Mengden said. “I’m touching the ball with my hands. I’m wiping my forehead off. As a pitcher, we’re putting ourselves all over this baseball in a sense.“
MLB and the players association are currently hoping to secure a plan where a second “spring training” can begin in June, with games scheduled around July 4.