According to multiple reports, including the A’s Drumbeat, A’s starter Brett Anderson will be shut down for about two weeks. Anderson would then resume throwing, and start building his pitch count back up to 90-100. Essentially, the A’s can expect Anderson to miss roughly four weeks of baseball.
The A’s, who have the luxury of pitching depth, can either call up Vin Mazzaro or Trevor Cahill to fill in for Anderson. My guess would be Mazzaro (1-1, 1.86 ERA, 21K/8BB, 19.1 IP) since he’s off to a tremendous start for the Triple-A club. If Mazzaro does struggle with the A’s early on, they could easily call up Cahill, who is also off to a tremendous start in Triple-A (1-0, 1.04 ERA, 8K/5BB, 8.1 IP). Essentially, either Mazzaro or Cahill would have to make up for the five or so starts Anderson is expected to miss.
Losing Anderson for roughly five starts is tough, and it certainly adds to the A’s growing injury concerns. The A’s early success has been because of their stellar pitching staff, so we’ll see in the next month or so how much losing Anderson affects the A’s starting staff.
Injuries are something the A’s want to stay away from, but I can already hear A’s fans chanting, “Here we go again…” If the A’s suffer any other significant injuries, I do not see them holding onto first place for very much longer. Anderson is a crucial part of the rotation, and if the A’s were to lose, let’s say Sweeney or Barton (for whatever reason), it’d be difficult for them to continue their early success.
But for now, the A’s are still in first place by 1 1/2 games. Dallas Braden will look to extend his winning streak against the Rays. James Shields will counter for Tampa Bay. Game starts: 7:10EST
Kurt Suzuki, who hasn’t played since last Saturday due to a sore left-side, expects to play in the finale against the Tampa Bay Rays tonight. Landon Powell, who was re-called, started last night at catcher.
Eric Chavez, who drove in three runs on Sunday, went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a walk. Chavez, who is coming off an injury-plaged 2009, is still looking for his first homer of the season. Currently, Chavez is hitting just .220/.273/.322 with six RBIs through 17 games. The DH spot for Oakland has not been productive so far.
MINOR LEAGUE UPDATE:
Jack Cust, who was designated for assignment but later re-assigned to Triple-A, is hitting .241/.389/.431 with 3 HR and 10 RBIs. He has 14 strikeouts in 58 at-bats, but also has 13 walks. If Chavy and Jake Fox don’t get it starting soon, the A’s could call up Cust.
Michael Taylor, who was received in the deal that sent Brett Wallace to Toronto, is hitting .269/.337/.474 with 1 HR and 12 RBIs.
Chris Carter is hitting .282/.370/.507 with 4 HR and 12 RBIs for Triple-A Sacramento.