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."

A's find themselves in decent shape with Graveman, Gray possibly returning

A's find themselves in decent shape with Graveman, Gray possibly returning

OAKLAND — Some 10-9 records are better than others, and so it is that the A’s can hit the road for a nine-game trip feeling pretty good about themselves.

Their just-completed homestand began with Opening Night starter Kendall Graveman leaving a game early and landing on the disabled list. That was coupled with news that shortstop Marcus Semien would be lost for two months or more with a fractured wrist.

The A’s responded to those developments with a five-game winning streak that was halted by Sunday’s 11-1 rout at the hands of the Seattle Mariners.

The A’s went 5-4 on the homestand, holding their ground after a heavy dose of injury misfortune, and now the outlook changes just a bit. The focus shifts from the players joining the D.L. to those that could soon return to provide a boost.

Graveman, who has a strained right shoulder, is scheduled to throw off the mound Monday. If that goes well, expect him to be activated sometime in the early portion of the upcoming trip. Sonny Gray, who has been out since injuring a side muscle early in Cactus League games, is set to throw Thursday for Triple-A Nashville after an encouraging rehab outing Saturday for Single-A Stockton.

If Gray comes out of Thursday’s start well, look for the 2015 All-Star to join the active roster and pitch sometime against Minnesota in the final series of this road trip. Nothing can be taken for granted until both pitchers actually return healthy, but it’s a promising scenario to possibly add two starters of their caliber as April turns to May.

“I think any time you look up and you’re over .500 and you’ve had a great homestand and you’re missing your best two pitchers, that’s something to be pleased about,” catcher Stephen Vogt said. “Getting Kendall back is huge. And Sonny obviously did great last night, and felt great, which is more important than the results.

“We’re excited to get those two guys back but in the meantime, we’re gonna continue to keep playing the way we are because we’re playing really good baseball and we’ll just keep things rolling.”

It was clear early on Sunday that a five-game winning streak wouldn’t reach six. The Mariners led 2-0 in the third when Andrew Triggs missed location on a 1-0 sinker and Taylor Motter launched a grand slam over the wall in left-center.

Triggs, who excelled at missing the fat part of bats over his first three starts, didn’t have the feel for his cutter Sunday. When he fell behind to Motter, the cutter is normally a pitch he would have gone to had it been working for him.

“I wasn’t commanding well,” he said. “I didn’t wanna go 1-0 to 2-0. I felt better going with the sinker. I got it down, but missed location in and out. In a perfect world, the cutter would have been great to get a groundout.”

But to this point, the A’s rotation has held firm without Gray and with the short-term absence of Graveman. Perhaps the biggest test moving forward is whether an offense that is tied for the American League lead in extra-base hits can continue to produce consistently with Semien’s absence, particularly without anyone having established themselves as the regular leadoff man.

A’s manager Bob Melvin likes what he’s seen from his team in light of the injuries.

“Every game we go out there there’s an expectation to win,” Melvin said, “and when you win multiple games in a row, you get that feeling and it’s a little more significant. So hopefully we can carry that on to the road trip. As a group, we’ve been able to manage these injuries here recently, and once we start getting guys back it’s gonna be a good thing for us.”

Instant Replay: Mariners mash Triggs, A's win streak ends at five

Instant Replay: Mariners mash Triggs, A's win streak ends at five


OAKLAND – That pristine ERA wasn’t going to last forever for Andrew Triggs, and it was no secret why things took a wayward turn for the A’s right-hander Sunday.

His command deserted him in the top of the third against Seattle, and that led to a disastrous inning that told the story in an 11-1 loss that halted the A’s five-game winning streak.

Triggs, who hadn’t allowed a single earned run in winning his first three starts of 2017, walked Robinson Cano to load the bases in the third, then issued another free pass to Nelson Cruz that forced in a run and put the Mariners up 2-0. After striking out Daniel Vogelbach, Triggs caught too much plate with a 1-0 pitch and Taylor Motter drilled it for a grand slam that made it 6-0 and put this one out of reach with the way Yovani Gallardo was pitching.

Gallardo (1-2) gave up just four hits over 6 1/3 innings as the Mariners prevented the A’s from completing their first home sweep of a four-game series since July 3-6, 2014, when they took four from Toronto.

Seattle turned it into a rout as Nelson Cruz belted a three-run homer in the seventh off Raul Alcantara, who was left in to eat up innings and surrendered two***more runs in the ninth.

Triggs (3-1), in a season-opening rotation for the first time in his major league career, opened the year by throwing 17 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run. That was the longest such season-opening streak by a starting pitcher in Oakland history. His ERA went from 0.00 to 2.42 with Sunday’s outing.

The A’s (10-9) finished 5-4 on their nine-game homestand that was shortened by one game due to a rainout Easter Sunday.

Starting pitching report

The first batter of the game was a bad omen for Triggs as he hit Jarrod Dyson to put the speedster on base. Dyson stole second and Cano knocked a run-scoring single to right field that quickly brought Triggs’ earned-run streak to an end. The right-hander was charged with six earned runs over 4 2/3 innings. He gave up five hits with four strikeouts and the two walks.

Bullpen report

Daniel Coulombe entered in relief of Triggs in the fifth and provided 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Then Alcantara, who was replaced in the rotation by Jesse Hahn on the last road trip, was left in to soak up three innings to save the bullpen any more wear and tear in a lopsided game. He gave up five runs in three innings and walked two.

At the plate

The A’s, after falling behind early, couldn’t muster anything against Gallardo, who the Mariners acquired in an offseason trade from the Orioles. Their only run came in the seventh, when Ryon Healy led off with a double, moved to third on Trevor Plouffe’s single and scored on Matt Joyce’s sacrifice fly off reliever Tony Zych.

In the field

Neither team committed an error, making it five games in a row that the A’s have gone errorless. Gallardo was aided by an outstanding diving snag by third baseman Mike Freeman in the sixth. Matt Olson, drawing a start in right field for the A’s, made a sliding catch that turned into a double play when Daniel Vogelbach wandered too far off first base.


The homestand finale drew 24,165 fans.

Up next

The A’s take Monday off and then begin a nine-game road trip against the Angels on Tuesday. The opener pits Jesse Hahn (1-1, 3.00) against J.C. Ramirez (2-2, 6.46). On Wednesday, it’s Sean Manaea (1-1, 4.43) against Matt Shoemaker (0-1, 4.98). Then Jharel Cotton (2-2, 4.76) matches up against Ricky Nolasco (1-2, 4.76) in Thursday’s finale. All three games begin at 7:05 p.m. and air on NBC Sports California.