The Oakland Athletics may be in third-place in the American League West, but that does not mean that the team has given up on this season. Far from it, actually. In the aftermath of the Cliff Lee to Texas deal, the A’s players did not seem bothered by it.
The A’s are currently 9.5 games out of first, and while the Rangers have added a proven ace to their rotation, the A’s feel that they’ve got the talent to compete in the second half of the season. The A’s have been without both Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden, but figure to have both of them back sometime after the All-Star break.
Getting Anderson back helps tremendously, and having Braden healthy is crucial as well. The A’s success in the second half will be contingent upon whether or not the team can manage to stay healthy. Anderson, who signed a four-year extension in April this year, has made only six starts this season. Anderson has been on the DL twice this season, and while that’s not an encouraging sight, the A’s should be estatic once he rejoins the rotation.
Braden, who threw the MLB’s 19th perfect-game, has been dealing with some elbow tendinitis, but reports of his rehab have been relatively good. Having lost Justin Duchscherer for the season, the A’s will have to keep their pitchers healthy for the remainder of the season. If Braden does not feel up-to-par soon, the A’s could have another pitcher who misses the rest of the season. Tendinitis is very tricky, and bothersome, so the A’s will have to monitor Braden’s situation closely.
In other news, A’s DH/IF Eric Chavez (neck/back) is eligible to come off the DL on July 21, but according the SF Chronicle, Chavez may be out until September. The long-time A’s player has been out with two bulging disks in his neck, and as a result placed on the 15-day DL. Recently, the A’s transferred Chavez to the 60-day DL. Chavez is in the last year of the six-year contract he signed back in 2004.
Connor Jackson, who was acquired in a trade with Arizona, is also making his way back from injury. The A’s definitely could use Jackson, who was hitting pretty well since arriving in Oakland.
Travis Buck, who has been dealing with various injuries over the past few seasons, was recently placed on the 60-day DL. Buck, who was on the Opening Day roster this season, has not played in a full season since
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