DENVER -- The A's are all but certain Brandon McCarthy won't make his Saturday start, but they're holding out hope the righty doesn't need to go on the disabled list again.
The 28-year-old McCarthy, who was scratched from his scheduled outing in Denver on Wednesday because of a strained right shoulder, was scheduled to play catch back in Oakland on Thursday. Barring any further setbacks, he could maintain a routine that would lead to a bullpen session and, potentially, a start at some point next week, allowing the A's to keep him off the DL.
"I'm still doubtful on Saturday, but maybe encouraged we potentially don't have to DL him," manager Bob Melvin said. "Once we get home, we'll probably have a little more clarity there."
In the meantime, Melvin and Co. will need to call up a starter in McCarthy's stead for Saturday's home start against the Padres, with Tyson Ross and Graham Godfrey being the likely options.