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Josh Willingham placed on DL; Chris Carter called up, but for how long?

Chris Carter showed up in the A’s clubhouse this morning, bleary-eyed from a redeye flight from Phoenix but back for a surprise stint with the big club. The A’s placed Josh Willingham on the DL, retroactive to June 18, and called up Carter to take his roster spot. Don’t get too used to seeing him in green and gold. Manager Bob Melvin didn’t say much specifically about Carter, but he hinted that Carter may just be up for the short-term until Willingham returns. Willingham is eligible to come off the DL on July 3, and he said he’s confident he’ll be ready by then.

How much playing time will there be for Carter, the A’s No. 2 prospect according to Baseball America? He’s played strictly first base for Triple-A Sacramento since coming off the DL on June 13 for a thumb injury, and Carter said he definitely feels more comfortable there than left field. “There’s nothing to press about” when playing first, he said this morning. But Conor Jackson has been swinging the bat well, and Melvin has him tapped as the regular first baseman for now (Mark Ellis is starting at first today with Jackson playing left field). I’m not sure the A’s would start Carter in the outfield right now considering how shaky he looked there last year during his big-league stint.

One interesting point Melvin made is that he’s considering giving Hideki Matsui time in left field after the A’s return to American League play after this road trip, and that could provide an opportunity for Carter to get DH at-bats. It’s sort of an awkward time for Carter to get called up. We always think of this guy in the context of him being an up-and-coming power bat that can help revive a sluggish offense. But the A’s have been playing good baseball lately – still not hitting a ton, but looking better – and it’s tough to identify an obvious role for Carter.

As for Willingham, he said his running didn’t go well Wednesday, which is why he became the A’s 11th DL transaction of the season. Willingham doesn’t consider the injury serious, but it’s also the latest in a string of injuries that have hampered him in recent seasons. You have to wonder how his health history will influence teams that view him as a trade target. And from the A’s perspective, I wonder how much they’re taking that into account as they weigh whether to offer Willingham a long-term extension.

–How would you like to be David DeJesus right now? The guy is obviously lost in the shuffle among outfielders (granted, his performance hasn’t demanded he be in there). And now that he’s finally playing today, he gets to face Mets lefty Chris Capuano. DeJesus is 7 for 56 (.125) against lefties this season, the lowest average in the American League against lefties.

–Injury updates: Brandon McCarthy is pitching today for Single-A Stockton in his first rehab start. Rich Harden will make a second start Saturday for Triple-A Sacramento, and Tyson Ross will throw a simulated game Saturday in Phoenix.

Today’s lineups:

A’s – Weeks 2B, Pennington SS, Crisp CF, Jackson LF, Sizemore 3B, Ellis 1B, DeJesus RF, Powell C, Godfrey RHP.

Mets – Reyes SS, Turner 2B, Beltran RF, Murphy 3B, Pagan CF, Bay LF, Duda 1B, Thole C, Capuano LHP.

Joe Stiglich

  • Marc

    Hey Wes and every other A’s fan, please read this article.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/commentary/news/story?page=bryant-110622

    It drives me nuts that more local reporters don’t bring articles like this to our attention. Wolfe and MLB are very crooked, but we already knew that!

  • wesley strzegowski

    Thanks Marc. FYI: my feedback from watching the A’s/ met’s series is:

    > the A’s will struggle to play 500 ball because the offense is so weak. they are a boring offense team.

    > Weeks has talent and hopefully is a future star.

    > again the offense is so weak.

    wes

  • Jan K Oski

    Was anyone else listening to an A’s fan/Oakland resident talk about an important aspect that was lacking in Marc’s shared article? “Oakland sucks”. While one can enjoy all types of festivities in San Fran and San Jose before and after the games, Oakland got nothing except a parking lot. If the A’s want to appeal to the younger generations, they need to find a place where those younger people can enjoy bars and clubs within walking distance of the stadium before and after the games. That place is downtown San Jose according to the radio host. I do agree with this assessment, as trips to the other-side of the bay for games are memorable

    Marc, I mostly enjoyed the article, but the Victory Court paragraph and the ownership switch was atrocious and needs some serious editing. You blame Wolfe and the MLB, but the City of Oakland is a joke. While it “snarls back” at Wolfe, it turned the Coliseum into one of the worst baseball venues in the country, and created a heavy tax burden to Alameda property owners for Big Al. Oakland has “potential”. Now, that’s hilarious! I don’t know what to say about the Oakland to LA ownership switch other than someone doesn’t have any clue about handling money. Basically, if Howard Bryant offers you advice on money, RUN the other way…

    Wes, it’s a long season. I agree the offense numbers aren’t bearable, but youth is always unpredictable. With Carter in the mix, who knows what will happen? I am actually enjoying the refreshing managerial style of Melvin, as players are rewarded for their play. What an idea!

  • wesley strzegowski

    Jan.. we agree…we’re going to have a long season. Hopefully, Melvin will mould this team into a 500 team this year and set the stage for a 2012 team that will contend.

    I’m devoid now of passion to support this team on a daily bases.

    You and Marc must be young fans ( under 35) and must live close to Oakland. I’m a east coast fan that would see them play at Yankee stadium.

    Hopefully, the A’s will give you a world series win someday. I’ve had my run with them.

    wes

  • wesley strzegowski

    A new death spiral is now in place. A’s will set record for scoreless innings in Philly this week end.

  • wesley strzegowski

    I get my baseball highs watching the Yank’s lose. Tonight they lost. An ex A’s Houston Street got the save.

  • Jan K Oski

    Wes, I’m actually 37, and I’ve saw plenty of the bash brother years to keep me bragging with my Giants friends. But, why isn’t Sweeney batting 2nd, when he has 60 point better OBP over Pennington? I pray Melvin gives Sweeney a chance and moves everyone else up one spot, while returning Pennington to the bottom of the line-up. Oh yeah, I always love seeing the Yankees falter, too…

  • wesley strzegowski

    I like Sweeney also. He’s a natural 300 hitter. Let him play everyday. My first pride as an A’s was during the mid 70′s. the era of Vida, Catfish, Bando ,Campaneris, Rudi,Fingers…Three straight world series appearances.

    We are seeing the end of Billy ball. He has to go this year. Fuentes next week. He is not a solid RP anymore.

  • Marc

    I was dumbfounded when Fuentes was signed….now we need a contender dumb enough to take him off our hands. Jan, I totally agree with you. I just wish more reporters/radio hosts would expose Fisher/Wolfe for what they are.

  • wesley strzegowski

    Nice surprise today with 4-1 win by A’s. They need to win this series by playing with intensity tomorrow.