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Frankie Montas’ fingernail not concern for A’s as he preps for sim game matchup vs. Mike Fiers

The A’s don’t seem to be concerned about Frankie Montas’ status to begin the season. The right-hander dealt with fingernail issues in his final two Cactus League starts and is slated to throw in a simulated game on Wednesday at the Coliseum.

A’s general manager David Forst joined the radio broadcast on Saturday and said the team is confident Montas will be good to go. 

“We need to get his pitch count up a little bit, but he’s got a little band-aid over that and it’ll be healed,” Forst said. “He’ll have plenty of time to get ready for that first start. Nobody’s worried about him.”

Pitching coach Scott Emerson said the A’s will monitor how Montas responds to Wednesday’s sim game when he grips the ball without any protection for his finger. Emerson added that Montas was scheduled to get some form of mound work on Monday.

The A’s will also see how Mike Fiers (hip inflammation) fares in his first live action against hitters this spring, as he is scheduled to counter Montas in Wednesday’s sim game. 

A’s manager Bob Melvin said it’s reasonable to assume that Fiers could rejoin the A’s rotation at some point in April, given his current progress.

So it appears the A’s are planning to enter the season with one open spot in the rotation, barring any further fingernail setbacks from Montas. 

A.J. Puk probably has the inside track based off his raw stuff, his status as the team’s top pitching prospect and his ability to stretch it out to four innings in Saturday’s start. 

Righty Daulton Jefferies and lefty Cole Irvin have had stellar spring trainings, but the team has been awaiting Puk’s chance to join the rotation and this presents a fine opportunity.