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Barton optioned; Outman switched to 60-day DL

It wasn’t a shock that first baseman Daric Barton was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento to make room on the A’s 25-man roster for Mark Ellis. The bigger news this morning was that the team transferred left-hander Josh Outman to the 60-day disabled list to clear a spot for Ellis on the 40-man roster. That means Outman, nursing what’s been described as a sprained elbow, won’t return to the mound for the A’s until late August, at the earliest. The A’s announced the news in a release, after manager Bob Geren talked to the media. So we didn’t get a chance to ask him about it this morning.

Outman told me yesterday he’ll be examined by Dr. James Andrews on Monday morning in Alabama, but the A’s obviously feel already that it’s a severe enough injury that he needs to be shelved for a while. This presents a big opportunity for Gio Gonzalez, who could stick in the rotation for a while if he bounces back with a good start Tuesday vs. Detroit. And it’s a pretty tough break for Outman, who has pitched very well in his first season as a big league starter.

Today’s lineups, featuring Adam Kennedy at third base for Oakland:

A’s
Kennedy 3B
Cust RF
Holliday LF
Giambi 1B
Suzuki DH
Cabrera SS
Sweeney CF
Powell C
Ellis 2B

Mazzaro P

Rockies
Fowler CF
Barmes 2B
Helton 1B
Hawpe RF
Tulowitzki SS
Stewart 3B
Iannetta C
Gonzalez LF
Smith DH

Cook P

Joe Stiglich