A's Insider notes: The haunting Disabled List

A's Insider notes: The haunting Disabled List


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."

RECAP: Giants beat A's on Huff's 10th-inning walk-off hit
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.
NEWS: A's recall Devine, Blevins; Ross, McCarthy to DL
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."

'Piss poor' seventh inning haunts Giants at Dodger Stadium

'Piss poor' seventh inning haunts Giants at Dodger Stadium

LOS ANGELES — The Giants put together a long rally in the top of the seventh inning Friday, scoring three runs to take a 4-2 lead. In the bottom of the inning, Matt Moore walked the leadoff hitter on four pitches. 

“You don’t deserve anything really that good after something like that,” Moore said. “That’s piss poor.”

Nothing good came after the walk, as Moore expected. That man, Austin Barnes, would come around to score. Three more Dodgers would, too. It added up to a 6-4 win for the Dodgers. For the best team in the National League, this was a familiar feeling. For the most disappointing team in baseball, the same was true. 

The Giants have played so well against the Dodgers this season, but in one inning at Chavez Ravine, they fell apart. They looked exactly like the team that has bottomed out over the last calendar year, and none of the pitchers who threw in the inning were spared. 

Moore had a good night in general, and his second half is showing signs of promise. But he was left angry with the result, and much of that anger was directed at himself. An hour after it happened, Moore was still stewing over the four pitches to Barnes and the double he gave up to Joc Pederson.

“You’ve got to make him earn his way on there,” Moore said of Barnes. “I’ve got to be better than that in the seventh.”

Moore’s night ended when Yasiel Puig entered the on-deck circle. Puig hasn’t hit lefties this year, but Bruce Bochy didn’t like the look of some pitches Moore had thrown in the inning, and he was pulled after 96 pitches. George Kontos entered and got Puig, a righty-destroyer, to hit an RBI grounder to short. Then he hung a 3-2 slider to Chris Taylor that was knocked into left for a game-tying double. 

“He’s been very good at times,” Bochy said of Kontos. “But the breaking ball that he’s left up, that’s the one that’s hurting him.”

Josh Osich was called upon and put a curveball on a tee. Corey Seager blasted it and that was that. The Giants sent Steven Okert down to the minors last weekend, leaving Osich as their lefty in the ‘pen. Bochy reiterated that he needs more from the young pair. Neither has taken hold of a long-term job since Will Smith went down to Tommy John surgery. 

“It’s their time,” Bochy said. “We need one of them to step up.”

Perhaps another reliever has. Kyle Crick struck out two in an impressive eighth, lowering his ERA to 1.88. It was an inning with less at stake, and that’s been the norm for Crick. He has pitched 12 times in the big leagues and 11 of the games have been losses. The lone win was a 9-2 blowout. 

The Giants have said they want to get Crick into higher-pressure spots. The inning before his on Friday night might have accelerated that plan. 

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's fifth straight loss

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's fifth straight loss


OAKLAND — While the Minnesota Twins are looking to claw their way into Wild Card contention, the A’s immediate goal is to get manager Bob Melvin his 1,000th career victory.

That is proving quite task, as Oakland lost its fifth consecutive game Friday since their skipper posted win No. 999. Rookie Daniel Gossett didn’t make it out of the fourth inning in a 6-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins before 17,727 fans at the Coliseum. The A’s also squandered a bases-loaded opportunity with no outs in the second, a bad omen as the home team lost for the ninth time in the past 11 games.

Twins lefty Jaime Garcia, making his first start since being acquired earlier in the week from Atlanta, worked 6 2/3 innings to get the victory. There is speculation about whether Minnesota, which came in having lost seven of its past 10, might turn around and flip Garcia to a contender. That remains to be seen.

The A’s have decisions to make themselves as Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline approaches, the main one being whether to deal No. 1 starter Sonny Gray, who is scheduled to pitch Sunday’s series finale against former Athletic Bartolo Colon.

GOSSETT’S STRUGGLES: Gossett is trying to prove he should stick in the rotation as Jharel Cotton and Kendall Graveman near a return to the rotation. But the right-hander lasted just 3 2/3 innings and gave up nine hits and four earned runs with three walks and two wild pitches. Gossett’s ERA rose to 5.74 after his ninth start since being recalled from the minors.

JEKYLL AND HYDE ‘D’: What to make of this A’s defense? On Friday, third baseman Matt Chapman turned in one of the finest plays of Oakland’s season, making a diving backhand stop of Miguel Sano’s sharp grounder and beginning a dazzling 5-4-3 double play. Second baseman Adam Rosales made a strong throw to home to complete an 8-4-2 putout. Matt Joyce made a great running catch in right field. But the A’s also committed two errors. That included a fourth-inning sequence where Marcus Semien sailed a throw to first base for what could have been ruled an error. Ryon Healy’s throw home was in time to get Brian Dozier, breaking from third, but catcher Ryan Lavarnway couldn’t hold on to the ball to make the tag.

A LONG TIME COMING: The A’s cut into a 5-0 deficit in the fourth when Lavarnway doubled home two runs. It marked Lavarnway’s first major league hit since Oct. 4, 2015, when he was with Atlanta. He was called up from the minors Thursday when Josh Phegley joined the 10-day disabled list with a strained oblique.

GETTING CLOSER: Graveman is scheduled to start Saturday for Triple-A Nashville, and Melvin hinted that his Opening Night starter could come off the disabled list after that outing.

NOT THAT YOU ASKED, BUT …: When the A’s lost four straight in Toronto, it marked the second time they’ve been swept in a four-game series this season. That hadn’t happened since 1997, when Oakland got swept in three different four-game series.