Cook progressing, but Opening Day status uncertain

Cook progressing, but Opening Day status uncertain

PHOENIX -- Ryan Cook felt great after throwing 21 pitches to hitters on Wednesday, and the A's right-hander is finally nearing non-simulated game action.

Cook, who was set back this spring by right shoulder inflammation, would like to make his Cactus League debut on Saturday, though his employers have yet to say as much. Nevertheless, whether it's Saturday or another day, he's close.

But close enough to have enough time to be ready for the season?

"I guess it just depends on how it goes," Cook said. "If I get in there and I'm ready to go, then I'm ready to go. That's not my decision to make, I guess. All I can do is my best to be ready. We knew it was going to come down to the wire. I think I can still do it. In terms of the questions of my arm, there isn't any. Now it's just a matter of making pitches. Today I felt like I made a lot of pitches."

Cook used all of his pitches on the day and said more than once, "It went really well."

"I did everything," he continued. "I threw right-on-right changeups, threw my slider, all of it, just to work on stuff. It was nice being at game speed today. Obviously, the adrenaline isn't there, but the game speed, in terms of my arm and my pitches and my mental approach was there. I was trying to get guys out, as opposed to just throw 20 pitches.

"I'm getting ready now. I'm trying to get in a game as soon as possible and make the Opening Day series."

If Cook isn't ready by then, the A's are likely to have either Joe Savery or Josh Lindblom join a bullpen that is expected to include right-handers Jim Johnson, Luke Gregerson, Dan Otero and Evan Scribner, and southpaws Sean Doolittle and Fernando Abad.

Jane Lee is a reporter for Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.