A's Insider notes: The haunting Disabled List

May 21, 2011, 7:08 am
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Our A's Insider takes a look at the status of the A's after the Giants' 2-1 extra-innings victory over visiting Oakland on Friday night in the opener of a three-game interleague series at AT&T Park.

Two doors close, two more open: To call it a double-whammy would be doing it an injustice. The A's, did, after all, lose 25 of their rotation in the span of 90 minutes on Thursday. That the team waited until Friday afternoon before the Bay Bridge Interleague Series opener to announce Tyson Ross (left oblique) and Brandon McCarthy (right scapula) heading to the 15-day disabled lies only heightened the hysteria. Especially since neither Oakland now needs starters for Monday and Tuesday in Anaheim. "You don't want to see anybody go on the DL," said A's manager Bob Geren. "But at the same time, it's an exciting opportunity. We look forward, not backward."

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So who replaces Ross and McCarthy?: Geren acknowledged that a pair of Triple-A starters in left-hander Josh Outman (4-1, 4.78 ERA) and right-hander Guillermo Moscoso (3-2, 4.02) are in the mix. But Bobby Cramer, who made the A's opening day roster, is probably not, since he is on the River Cats' disabled list, and while he is eligible to come off on Sunday, he does have a balky back and he has not pitched in a week. Another name to keep an eye on - Armando Galarraga, who was DFA'd by Arizona following Tuesday's game. The right-hander, who had a perfect game taken from him by a blown call last season, struggled in eight starts for the Diamondbacks, going 3-4 with a 5.91 ERA. A change of scenery might do wonders for him and he obviously already has big league experience. Space on the 40-man roster would have to be made, though, and if McCarthy's injury is serious, he could potentially be moved to the 60-day D.L.
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Remember Rich Harden?: More than a few Tweets came in asking me how close the oft-injured right-hander Rich Harden was to returning to the major league. The good news -- he is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled Saturday. The bad news -- he has yet to play catch since being shelved in spring training with a strained right shoulder. "I'm just working my way back, doing some strengthening exercises," Harden said. "It feels good, really good. I don't see myself out there in the immediate future, though." So I asked him if being unable to help, what with three starting pitchers, including Dallas Braden, was especially tough to take. "Absolutely, yeah," he said. "Especially now, when things are going so well. You want to step in and contribute. But you can't."McCarthy muses: McCarthy said this is the fourth time he's dealt with a stress reaction-type injury in his pitching shoulder. The difference this time, he hopes, is this one was caught early enough to ward off significant time on the DL "The goal," he said, "is not to miss the entire season." McCarthy said he anticipates missing "three or four starts" and hopes to begin throwing within two weeks time. The worst part of it, he said, is "dealing with a couple days of self-pity." He said he had been dealing with "weird things" for a few weeks and had an MRI Thursday morning. He got the results and suggestion to shut it down some 90 minutes before Ross left Thursday's outing after seven pitches. "That's what really broke my heart," McCarthy said. "It makes you feel like a piece of (dung)." So what will McCarthy do in the meantime? "Ice. Wallow. And be sarcastic," he said.Blevins, Devine and De Los Santos called up: With Ross and McCarthy put on the DL, and Trystan Magnuson shipped back to Triple-A Sacramento, the A's called up three relievers from the River Cats. A few familiar faces in lefty Jerry Blevins and Joey Devine made the trip, as did right-handed rookie Fautino De Los Santos. Devine and De Los Santos are both Tommy John Surgery alums. "(My control) is very different," De Los Santos said, in Spanish. "Before, I couldn't control my location. Now, my mechanics are much better." De Los Santos said he hit 100 mph on the radar gun last season, 99 mph this season. Devine, meanwhile, was the A's closer-in-waiting in 2008, before injury struck. His expectations after not allowing an earned run in 11 appearances, over 12 13 innings, while giving up four hits, striking out 17 and walking one? "Zero expectations," he said. "I'm just blessed to put on the uniform." Devine said the birth of his son Mason Joseph on April 11 took pressure off of him to perform. "It feels like things are starting to come together," he said. "All the hard work and patience, it feels like it's paying off."

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