On a day that they dropped their eighth consecutive game, the Oakland Athletics placed LHP Brett Anderson and 2B Mark Ellis on the 15-day disabled list. Injuries have killed the A’s before in the past, and this season is shaping up to be yet another injury plagued year.
The A’s are already without pitchers Dallas Braden, Tyson Ross, Brandon McCarthy, and Rich Harden. With Anderson now joining that list, the A’s are left reevaluating themselves and as well as their plans for this season and beyond. Anderson was 3-6 with a 4.00 ERA in 13 starts prior to landing on the DL. Pitcher Bobby Cramer, who competed for the No.5 spot in Oakland’s rotation during spring training, was called up on Tuesday to fill in for Anderson, who is battling an elbow injury.
A depleted starting rotation and an inconsistent offense could push VP/GM Billy Beane and his reeling A’s to re-think their plans for this season. The team started the season with high hopes, especially since the team finished the 2010 season with a 81-81 record, but the team hasn’t performed particularly well this season.
With Mark Ellis out now with another hamstring injury, the A’s could finally give prospect 2B Jemile Weeks a shot at the big-league level. Weeks, who was hitting .321 with 3 HR and 22 RBIs with Triple-A Sacramento before the call-up, went 0-f0r-4 in his debut on Tuesday with Oakland. The A’s value Ellis’ veteran leadership and strong defensive abilities, but the 33-year old infielder was hitting just .211/.245/.287 with one home run and 15 RBI’s before landing on the DL.
Oakland started the season as early favorites to win a weak AL West division in 2011, but the current 8-game skid could make the A’s sellers at the trade deadline this season. The team currently trails the Rangers in the west by 7.0 games, and Oakland is a season-high 8 games below .500. If the young A’s continue their downward spiral, I don’t see guys like OF Josh Willingham sticking around after the trade deadline. In fact, there are already rumors starting to swirl around the confines of the Overstock.com Coliseum that Willingham is the target of a few teams looking to add some power.