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Coco Crisp returns to DL; Landon Powell recalled; Brett Anderson expecting to start Saturday

Coco Crisp was placed on the DL as expected today, making it 14 DL transactions for the A’s through the first 46 games. They used the DL 17 times all of last year. In 2008, they set an Oakland record with 25 DL transactions. I’m no math whiz, but they’re on a pretty good pace to obliterate that mark at their current rate.

An MRI showed Crisp indeed has a strained right intercostal muscle in his rib cage, and it’s no guarantee that he’ll be ready to return June 7 when he’s eligible. A’s manager Bob Geren said you can’t really use Kurt Suzuki’s recent injury (also an intercostal strain) as a potential timetable for Crisp. “Every one of those muscle strains is different, and take different times to heal,” Geren said.

You can’t over-emphasize how much the lack of a steady leadoff man has hurt this offense. Rajai Davis is back in the leadoff spot tonight with lefty Brian Matusz on the mound for Baltimore. Geren acknowledged the need for an effective presence atop the order. “The leadoff spot hasn’t been real solidified since Opening Day,” he said. “Hopefully that will start to happen.” But how many other leadoff options do you see on this roster besides Davis and Cliff Pennington? I asked Geren if there was anyone else he would consider to hit leadoff. After a long pause, he mentioned Mark Ellis, but he’s not an ideal solution either.

–Catcher Landon Powell was called up to take Crisp’s roster spot and he got a warm reception from his teammates. It was sort of sarcastic, as this is Powell’s third stint with the team. How would you like to have Powell’s travel agenda so far this season? He started the year with Triple-A Sacramento. He was called up April 21 and sent back down two days later without appearing in a game. Then he was promoted again April 27 and started 12 games (catching Dallas Braden’s perfect game) before returning to Sacramento on Friday. Now he’s back five days later. His presence gives Geren flexibility on the bench. He’s DH’ing Jake Fox tonight, and now he can pinch-run for Fox and still have a backup catcher available if something happens to Suzuki.

–Brett Anderson is back with the team and threw long toss today. He’ll throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but both Anderson and Geren fully expect him to be ready to come off the DL and start Saturday in Detroit.

–Dallas Braden is getting treatment for his sprained left ankle, and Geren said he expects the lefty to be ready for his next start Sunday.

The lineups:
A’s: Davis CF, Barton 1B, Suzuki C, Kouzmanoff 3B, Sweeney RF, Rosales LF, Fox DH, Ellis 2B, Pennington SS; Cahill RHP.

Orioles: Patterson LF, Wigginton 1B, Markakis RF, Tejada 3B, Wieters C, Jones CF, Moore 2B, Atkins DH, Izturis SS; Matusz LHP.

Joe Stiglich