0

Latest on Justin Duchscherer

Ah yes, in my last blog I forgot to provide an update on that Justin Duchscherer fella. You might be curious about him. Duchscherer will head to Nashville on Monday to have his left hip examined by Dr. Thomas Byrd, the specialist who performed both surgeries on his right hip. We’ll know more after that appointment, but it would be a shock if Duchscherer isn’t placed on the DL. His next turn in the rotation would come Tuesday against Texas …

0

A’s officially put Suzuki on DL, and some thoughts on Josh Donaldson

The expected announcements came down today from the A’s — right-hander Trevor Cahill and catcher Josh Donaldson were called up and Kurt Suzuki was put on the DL. Outfielder Matt Carson was sent to the minors to open up needed space on the 25-man roster. And to squeeze Donaldson on the 40-man roster, reliever Joey Devine was transferred to the 60-day DL.

This is Suzuki’s first career stint on the disabled list. … You sort of take his presence for granted because he’s been the A’s iron man. He would be eligible to return May 9, and manager Bob Geren is hopeful Suzuki would be ready by then.

Until then, Geren said he’ll rotate Landon Powell, Jake Fox and Donaldson as he sees fit, depending on the opposing pitcher and which catcher is playing well. Geren said he’s leaning toward giving Donaldson his first big league start tomorrow. The manager has had high praise for Donaldson over the past two spring camps, but he said Donaldson has really improved his defense, in particular, this season.

I’m interested to see where Donaldson, 24, fits into the long-range picture for the A’s. Suzuki is entrenched as the starting catcher, and 19-year-old Max Stassi is a big-time prospect who looks like he’ll progress through the farm system fairly quickly. What does that mean for Donaldson’s window of opportunity? Time will tell. But the A’s think highly of him, and he’s made a quick rise through the ranks himself since being traded to Oakland in 2008.

Your lineups for tonight …

A’s: Pennington SS; Barton 1B; Sweeney RF; Kouzmanoff 3B; Chavez DH; Rosales 2B; Powell C; Patterson LF; Davis CF; Cahill RHP

Blue Jays: Lewis LF; Hill 2B; Lind DH; Wells CF; Overbay 1B; Gonzalez SS; Bautista 3B; Buck C; Snider RF; Morrow RHP.

0

A’s officially put Suzuki on DL, and some thoughts on Josh Donaldson

The expected announcements came down today from the A’s — right-hander Trevor Cahill and catcher Josh Donaldson were called up and Kurt Suzuki was put on the DL. Outfielder Matt Carson was sent to the minors to open up needed space on the 25-man roster. And to squeeze Donaldson on the 40-man roster, reliever Joey Devine was transferred to the 60-day DL.

This is Suzuki’s first career stint on the disabled list. … You sort of take his presence for granted because he’s been the A’s iron man. He would be eligible to return May 9, and manager Bob Geren is hopeful Suzuki would be ready by then.

Until then, Geren said he’ll rotate Landon Powell, Jake Fox and Donaldson as he sees fit, depending on the opposing pitcher and which catcher is playing well. Geren said he’s leaning toward giving Donaldson his first big league start tomorrow. The manager has had high praise for Donaldson over the past two spring camps, but he said Donaldson has really improved his defense, in particular, this season.

I’m interested to see where Donaldson, 24, fits into the long-range picture for the A’s. Suzuki is entrenched as the starting catcher, and 19-year-old Max Stassi is a big-time prospect who looks like he’ll progress through the farm system fairly quickly. What does that mean for Donaldson’s window of opportunity? Time will tell. But the A’s think highly of him, and he’s made a quick rise through the ranks himself since being traded to Oakland in 2008.

Your lineups for tonight …

A’s: Pennington SS; Barton 1B; Sweeney RF; Kouzmanoff 3B; Chavez DH; Rosales 2B; Powell C; Patterson LF; Davis CF; Cahill RHP

Blue Jays: Lewis LF; Hill 2B; Lind DH; Wells CF; Overbay 1B; Gonzalez SS; Bautista 3B; Buck C; Snider RF; Morrow RHP.

0

A’s officially put Suzuki on DL, and some thoughts on Josh Donaldson

The expected announcements came down today from the A’s — right-hander Trevor Cahill and catcher Josh Donaldson were called up and Kurt Suzuki was put on the DL. Outfielder Matt Carson was sent to the minors to open up needed space on the 25-man roster. And to squeeze Donaldson on the 40-man roster, reliever Joey Devine was transferred to the 60-day DL.

This is Suzuki’s first career stint on the disabled list. … You sort of take his presence for granted because he’s been the A’s iron man. He would be eligible to return May 9, and manager Bob Geren is hopeful Suzuki would be ready by then.

Until then, Geren said he’ll rotate Landon Powell, Jake Fox and Donaldson as he sees fit, depending on the opposing pitcher and which catcher is playing well. Geren said he’s leaning toward giving Donaldson his first big league start tomorrow. The manager has had high praise for Donaldson over the past two spring camps, but he said Donaldson has really improved his defense, in particular, this season.

I’m interested to see where Donaldson, 24, fits into the long-range picture for the A’s. Suzuki is entrenched as the starting catcher, and 19-year-old Max Stassi is a big-time prospect who looks like he’ll progress through the farm system fairly quickly. What does that mean for Donaldson’s window of opportunity? Time will tell. But the A’s think highly of him, and he’s made a quick rise through the ranks himself since being traded to Oakland in 2008.

Your lineups for tonight …

A’s: Pennington SS; Barton 1B; Sweeney RF; Kouzmanoff 3B; Chavez DH; Rosales 2B; Powell C; Patterson LF; Davis CF; Cahill RHP

Blue Jays: Lewis LF; Hill 2B; Lind DH; Wells CF; Overbay 1B; Gonzalez SS; Bautista 3B; Buck C; Snider RF; Morrow RHP.

4

Justin Duchscherer update

To summarize what we know so far about the injury that knocked Justin Duchscherer from tonight’s game in the fourth inning: It was announced that Duchscherer hurt his left hip. That’s interesting, because it’s his right hip that’s given him problems over the years. His 2007 and 2008 seasons ended prematurely because of right hip surgery. Last season, his physical problems involved his right elbow and, later in the season, his back.

We’ll hopefully know more after the game. You can talk about Eric Chavez’s shaky health history, and the A’s lack of power in their lineup, but any kind of long-term injury to Duchscherer (to go with fellow starter Brett Anderson’s injury) is devastating to the A’s chances this season. We know the A’s won’t score a ton of runs, so they’ll go as far as their starting pitching carries them.

Remember, you can follow me at twitter.com/joestiglich to get brief, more immediate updates. I’ll keep tweeting tonight as I get more information, and I’ll try to update the blog as much as possible …

0

Trevor Cahill to start tomorrow night for A’s; catcher Josh Donaldson also joining roster

It’s been an entertaining scene here at the Rogers Center in Toronto, where the retractable roof first was closed, then began to open, then started to close again, and now is open. It’s pretty good weather to play the A’s-Jays game in open air, but there was a nearby fire blowing black smoke toward the stadium, so I think that’s why they were thinking of closing the roof.

Equally tough to figure out was the A’s starting pitcher for tomorrow night. The team still hasn’t made an official announcement, but I’ve got it confirmed that right-hander Trevor Cahill and catcher Josh Donaldson will be called up (this news was first reported by Comcast SportsNet’s Mychael Urban. So Cahill will start tomorrow night’s game, and Donaldson will get his first taste of the big leagues because Kurt Suzuki likely is headed to the DL with an intercostal strain in his rib cage. The A’s will still have to send a player down to make room for both additions.

–Rajai Davis returns to the lineup but is batting ninth, with Cliff Pennington still leading off. Adam Rosales, one of the A’s hotter hitters of late, moves up to the fifth spot.

–It’s looking like we’ll get a very small crowd tonight. There was a piece in today’s Toronto Sun about the poor home crowds for Blue Jays games (though they’re pulling a great TV audience). There was much written in Tampa Bay about the Rays’ poor crowds as well. So the Oakland Coliseum isn’t the only place with lots of empty seats. And speaking of that topic, check out Brad Ziegler’s open letter to A’s fans. Very well-written and worth reading …

Tonight’s lineups

A’s: Pennington SS; Barton 1B; Sweeney RF; Kouzmanoff 3B; Rosales 2B; Fox DH; Powell C; Patterson LF; Davis CF; Duchscherer RHP

Jays: Lewis LF; Hill 2B; Lind DH; Wells CF; Overbay 1B; Gonzalez SS; Bautista 3B; Buck C; Snider RF; Romero LHP.

0

Brett Anderson likely to miss about five weeks; other A’s pregame news

The official word on left-hander Brett Anderson: He’ll be shut down for two weeks with his forearm strain and then resume throwing. If things go well at that point, you figure it will take him anywhere from 2-3 weeks to get his arm back to major league-ready. So I’d say we’re looking at approximately a 5-week absence for the A’s lefty.

Yesterday’s MRI showed Anderson has a strain in the musculotendinous junction (raise your hand if you’d heard of that one before). Basically, it’s the area where the muscle and tendon meet in the forearm.

Bottom line, the news could have been worse. But manager Bob Geren didn’t want to get overly optimistic about the diagnosis. “We’ll just have to see when he starts throwing how he does,” Geren said before batting practice.

And he still isn’t revealing who will start Friday in Anderson’s place. Trevor Cahill or Vin Mazzaro figure to be called up from Triple-A Sacramento to pitch that game.

–We almost made it to game time without another injury to report. Kurt Suzuki was in the lineup, but he was just scratched. Jake Fox will replace him at catcher. No word on what’s bothering Suzuki, but it’s reasonable to assume his back trouble of recent days is acting up. This will be the fourth straight game he’s out of the lineup.

–Cliff Pennington leads off for a third straight game, with Rajai Davis sitting again. Geren said the right-handed hitting Davis is likely to start tomorrow against Toronto lefty Ricky Romero. Davis, who’s been slumping for about two weeks, said he doesn’t think there’s anything mechanically wrong with his swing. “It’s totally a mental thing, something that I expect to turn around very shortly,” he said.

Geren indicated outfielder Matt Carson might get a start tomorrow night as well.

Tonight’s lineups:
A’s
Pennington SS
Barton 1B
Sweeney RF
Chavez DH
Kouzmanoff 3B
Gross CF
Fox C
Patterson LF
Rosales 2B
Braden LHP

Rays
Bartlett SS
Crawford LF
Zobrist 2B
Longoria 3B
Pena 1B
Upton CF
Aybar DH
Kapler RF
Jaso C
Shields RHP

1

A’s put Brett Anderson on DL, and other transactions on a busy day

(I made a correction to the pregame blog below. The A’s are now carrying 11 pitchers, not 12).

*******

Tonight’s game hasn’t even started, and there’s already plenty of A’s news to report. So here we go …

–Brett Anderson was placed on the 15-day DL with a strain in his left forearm and inflammation in his elbow. He’s getting a second MRI today that should give a clearer read on the severity of the injury, and the A’s aren’t giving a timetable for his return until they get the results. There’s not enough information available to draw conclusions, but obviously the situation is more serious than the team (and Anderson) thought over the weekend. All we know now is that Anderson’s DL stint is retroactive to April 25, meaning he can return May 10. That means he’ll miss at least two starts. The A’s haven’t announced who will start Friday. Vin Mazzaro has been throwing great at Triple-A Sacramento, so that’s one option. From the current roster, Tyson Ross might be stretched out enough to eat up a few innings if they wanted to go with him.

We might hear more tonight about Anderson’s status, so check back …

–Three other transactions today: Reliever Edwar Ramirez was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento, and catcher Landon Powell and infielder Steve Tolleson were called up. The A’s had been carrying 13 pitchers, and with reliever Jerry Blevins’ back feeling better, they decided to drop down to 11 and give manager Bob Geren some more options off the bench.

The past week has been nuts for Powell, who was called up Wednesday, got sent back down Friday and then took a flight from Las Vegas to Tampa to rejoin the A’s today. He arrived shortly before batting practice and is starting behind the plate tonight. Kurt Suzuki still has tightness in his back.

Pretty good story about Powell and Tolleson, who were college teammates at South Carolina. Tolleson, who was in Las Vegas with the Sacramento club, received word yesterday he was being called up for his big league debut. He and Powell live nearby each other in Sacramento, and Powell was going to drive Tolleson’s car from the Sacramento airport back to his apartment for him. Then Powell got the news that he was being called up, and he had to catch a flight from Vegas to Tampa. So Powell’s wife, Allyson, had to retrieve Tolleson’s car for him. That was no big deal … Powell and Tolleson were in each others’ weddings. They’re pretty tight …

Tolleson played mainly short and third base for Sacramento, but he could see time at second base w/Mark Ellis out.

–First baseman Daric Barton originally was not in tonight’s lineup, but his fractured right middle finger felt great when he tried swinging the bat and throwing, so he’s now starting. Jake Fox was going to fill in at first.

–Finally, the A’s actually got good news on the injury front. Reliever Joey Devine does not have a tear in his elbow as was feared, just severe tendinitis. He’ll resume throwing again in about two weeks.

Here’s tonight’s lineups … Rajai Davis isn’t starting for a second straight game, probably because the A’s are facing a right-hander in Tampa Bay’s Wade Davis. Rajai is hitting .143 over his past 15 games.

A’s
Pennington SS
Barton 1B
Sweeney RF
Chavez DH
Kouzmanoff 3B
Gross CF
Powell C
Patterson LF
Rosales 2B
Sheets RHP

Rays
Bartlett SS
Crawford LF
Zobrist RF
Longoria 3B
Pena 1B
Upton CF
Burrell DH
Jaso C
Brignac 2B
Davis RHP

0

Not as bleak on the injury front today

Carl Steward here, pinch-hitting for Joe Stiglich on a gorgeous Sunday morning at the Coliseum …

Kevin Kouzmanoff is back in the lineup at third base. Catcher Kurt Suzuki isn’t, but it’s more of a precautionary day off which will give the A’s most indispensable player three consecutive days of rest before he jumps back behind the plate in Tampa Bay. Suzuki said before the game that it isn’t his back, but rather his left side that has been giving him problems. He just woke up Saturday morning and felt it. But he’s getting daily treatment for the injury, said Sunday he’s feeling 50 times better than he did.

Continue Reading

0

A’s pregame notes: Suzuki, Kouzmanoff scratched

A few quick A’s notes as today’s game is fast approaching …

–The injuries are piling up for the A’s (is this starting to sound familiar?) Third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff was scratched this morning with tightness in his right calf. He also fouled a ball off his left foot last night. He may get tomorrow off as well. With Monday’s off day, that could give him three days of rest. And we just received word that catcher Kurt Suzuki was scratched with soreness in his left side. Jake Fox takes his place behind the plate.

Not the greatest news for the A’s, considering Suzuki is swinging a hot bat and Kouzmanoff looked better last night. There’s no word yet on the degree of Suzuki’s injury.

Matt Carson is the only healthy position player on the bench today.

–Just following up on this morning’s notebook item on reliever Joey Devine. As I mentioned, he’s seeing Dr. Andrews in Alabama on Monday. If Devine does have a partial tear in the flexor tendon of his elbow, he told me that he’s hopeful he might be able to avoid surgery in rehabbing it. He mentioned possibly undergoing platelet-rich plasma therapy, which is growing in popularity among ballplayers coming back from different injuries.

But this is all premature at this point. We’ll know more after Devine gets checked out Monday.

Today’s lineups:

A’s
Davis CF
Barton 1B
Sweeney RF
Chavez DH
Gross LF
Fox DH
Rosales 3B
Patterson 2B
Pennington SS
Anderson LHP

Indians
Cabrera SS
Grudzielanek 2B
Choo RF
Kearns CF
Hafner DH
Peralta 3B
Marte 1B
LaPorta lf
Redmond C
Carmona RHP