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May 20, 2011

Transaction Analysis Blog

Oakland Swaps Six Pitchers

by R.J. Anderson

OAKLAND ATHLETICS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Oakland Athletics
Placed SP Tyson Ross and SP Brandon McCarthy on the 15-day disabled list. [5/20]
Optioned RP Trystan Magnuson to Triple-A Sacramento. [5/20]
Recall RP Joey Devine, RP Jerry Blevins, and RP Fautino De Los Santos from Triple-A Sacramento. [5/20]

Nothing to see here, folks, just your typical transaction rearranging six pitchers to the disabled list, Triple-A, and the major league bullpen.

Losing McCarthy and Ross will test the depth of one of the game’s best rotations. McCarthy has been the image of in-game durability as he is completing more than seven innings per start and holds the best strikeout-to-walk ratio of any Athletics pitcher. The right shoulder has been a sore spot—pun semi-intended—for McCarthy over the last few years and it’s bothering him again here. As one of the game’s nice early season stories and one of the better tweeters, you have to hope McCarthy can make a quick recovery without missing significant time as he did the past two seasons.

Ross’s delivery is synonymous with “complex” and many have written about its likelihood to cause him an injury. An oblique injury is an injury, albeit not one of the biggies associated with strenuous deliveries. The tall righty opened the season in the A’s pen but moved into the rotation with some recent success. Ross even managed seven innings and eight strikeouts against the White Sox in the start before suffering the injury. He will be out through at least the beginning of June.

If there is a sliver of good fortune for the A’s here—and face it, it’s minimal—McCarthy and Ross were the last two starters used. That means the A’s can carry a nine-man bullpen through the end of the weekend, giving them time to assess the trade market and their internal options while also reinforcing a recently taxed bullpen. Having two of Bobby Cramer, Josh Outman, or offseason waiver claim Guillermo Moscoso join the rotation next week seems to be the most likely solution (as they are on the 40-man roster and in the Triple-A rotation).


R.J. Anderson is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see R.J.'s other articles. You can contact R.J. by clicking here

7 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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Ian Miller

Brutal luck for the A's. With their tepid offense, I don't know how they bounce back from this, at least in the short term.

May 20, 2011 15:53 PM
rating: 0
 
Ben F.

Cramer is on the AAA DL with an oblique strain. So he probably won't be called up next week.

http://www.rotoinfo.com/comments-2011_05_09_08_48_pm_Oakland_Athletics_Bobby_Cramer_P-76005.html

May 20, 2011 16:45 PM
rating: 0
 
Jason Wojciechowski

I can't tell if I'm just being an overly optimistic fan, but the A's are missing their 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th starters (Braden, McCarthy, Ross, Cramer), and you have to figure Oakland signed Rich Harden and McCarthy knowing that they'd get hurt at some point, making room for Josh Outman. By which I mean that part of this (the Outman part) was likely planned from the beginning, leaving the real scramble to be the fifth spot.

It's unfortunate that McCarthy went down at the same time that Ross/Cramer did, and that Braden got hurt at all, but this is still a Cahill-Anderson-Gonzalez-fronted staff with a nice bullpen. I'm not entirely worried.

May 20, 2011 17:22 PM
rating: 0
 
Ian Miller

Losing any starter -- even a 4 or 5 -- is a huge loss. Even if Outman were ready, which is questionable, that means you've still got to plug in 1 more replacement-level starter. With their pitching depth, the A's are well-positioned to absorb this, but it's still a big blow.

May 22, 2011 10:07 AM
rating: 0
 
jedjethro

Tyson Ross' injury is my fault. I recently added him.

May 20, 2011 18:03 PM
rating: 0
 
Sacramento

Josh Outman hasn't exactly been lighting things up with the River Cats. He's basically relearning how to pitch after a year and a half lost to injury.

May 20, 2011 21:04 PM
rating: 0
 
pobothecat

Two real bad outings to begin the season; some signs of progress, say the numbers, in the last three.

May 23, 2011 10:42 AM
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Premium Article Prospects Will Break Y... (05/19)
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