The Windy City is living up to its nickname tonight. There’s a heavy breeze whipping through U.S. Cellular Field as the A’s and White Sox open a three-game series. There’s also some Oakland rotation news to report …
Tommy Milone and Jarrod Parker both are having their starts pushed back in order to give the rookies some extra rest. Milone was originally scheduled to throw Saturday. Travis Blackley is being inserted in that spot, and Milone will not pitch again until next Friday’s home opener against Cleveland. So he’s being skipped for a full turn through the rotation. Parker was scheduled to go Sunday, but he’ll be pushed back two days to Tuesday and start the series opener at Kansas City. Bartolo Colon will now pitch Sunday, and he’ll be on regular rest thanks to Thursday’s day off.
“We’ve been looking to potentially do this for a while now,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “Even though their last few outings haven’t been their best, this isn’t about performance. It’s about giving them a break.”
Both pitchers are on board with the idea. Milone said the Nationals skipped him for one start in late July last season, when he struggled for a few starts and was showing signs of fatigue. He thinks he could use the rest. Parker also said he thinks a few extra days will pay off. “It’s just that time when your body can’t do as much as it could earlier in the year,” Parker said. “Tommy and I, we’ve kind of struggled as of late. I think both of us could tell you we need a little extra time. We haven’t pitched at this level at this point of the year.”
–Eric Sogard was placed on the D.L. with a strained back, which clears a roster spot for Brandon McCarthy to come off the D.L. and start tonight against Chicago. Sogard said his back locked up on him during batting practice Monday. He was able to play that night, and was put on muscle relaxers, but the pain hasn’t gotten better. He said there’s a “constant tightness,” and he’s scheduled to fly to Phoenix on Saturday and get more tests done there.
In other injury updates, outfielder Seth Smith (strained left hamstring) has started hitting off a tee and throwing. He’s not taking batting practice yet. Right-hander A.J. Griffin (strained right shoulder) is doing “sock throws,” where he simulates throwing a baseball, and Melvin said Griffin is feeling better.
A’s — Crisp CF, Weeks 2B, Reddick RF, Cespedes LF, CArter 1B, Moss DH, Inge 3B, Norris C, Pennington SS; McCarthy RHP.
White Sox — De Aza CF, Youkilis 3B, Dunn 1B, Rios RF, Pierzynski C, Ramirez SS, Viciedo DH, Danks LF, Beckham 2B; Floyd RHP.