News: 6 days agoPuk could face hitters in live batting practice "pretty soon" according to manager Bob Melvin, Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Spin: The big lefty has already looked good in his early bullpen sessions as he rounds back into shape following another injury-marred season in 2020. Melvin's proclamation supports the notion Puk hasn't suffered any setbacks with his activity level thus far, and it therefore appears likely the team will test him by elevating him to live hitters soon.
ESPN Fantasy Projection: Puk was unable to take the hill last season as what was initially diagnosed as a mild shoulder strain in early March recurred in summer camp and ultimately required September surgery. The procedure was deemed minor and Puk is expected to be at full strength in the spring. Even so, this is just another setback, on top of missing 2018 and most of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. Puk is set to embark on his age-26 season so there is time to carve out a fruitful career. He features a 97-mph fastball and a wipeout slider, both stressful so it remains to be seen how he'll react when he heats up in the spring. Puk has ace potential, but with only 36 2/3 combined innings in 2019 on his ledger since 2017, Oakland will likely be conservative with his workload so resist the urge to chase the prospect pedigree.