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A’s put Pomeranz on DL with left AC sprain, recall Leon

Drew Pomeranz went on the disabled list Wednesday with a left AC sprain. Arnold Leon has been called up to replace him.

Drew Pomeranz went on the disabled list Wednesday with a left AC sprain. Arnold Leon has been called up to replace him.

Right-handed reliever Arnold Leon joined the A’s before the final game of a three-game set in Houston Wednesday, taking the spot of starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Pomeranz had to come out of Monday’s start in the fifth inning with what was being called a sprained left AC joint.

When he reported to the clubhouse Tuesday, Pomeranz said he was only experiencing normal post-start soreness, but manager Bob Melvin said then that the disabled list was a possibility because the club wanted to get a handle on the AC joint pain, which has cropped up from time to time.

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The mystery of Fernando Abad continues to deepen

Fernando Abad doesn't know why he's being hit so hard, and the A's don't know, either.

Fernando Abad doesn’t know why he’s being hit so hard, and the A’s don’t know, either.

For the longest time, going to Fernando Abad was nothing but A-Good for the A’s.

Not so much lately, though.

Abad, asked to keep a 3-2 game close, instead gave up a two-run homer and a solo shot in the eighth inning. That put the A’s in a 6-2 hole and meant that the two runs Oakland scored in the ninth were just window dressing.

The numbers on Abad this year are grim. He has a 7.36 ERA, his WHIP is 1.636 and he’s allowed four homers in 11 innings. For his first season in Oakland last year, his ERA was 1.57, his WHIP was 0.855 and he’d allowed just four homers in 57.1 innings.

What’s worse, with Sean Doolittle and Eric O’Flaherty on the disabled list, he’s the only lefty in the bullpen. Small wonder that there are voices calling for the promotion of switch-pitcher Pat Venditte, even though his 1.75 ERA is somewhat tarnished by the 12 walks he’s allowed in 25.2 innings with Triple-A Nashville.

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A’s get good news on Jarrod Parker; no third Tommy John

Jarrod Parker will not need a third Tommy John surgery after his fractured elbow was treated by Dr. James Andrews Tuesday.

Jarrod Parker will not need a third Tommy John surgery after his fractured elbow was treated by Dr. James Andrews Tuesday.

The surgery on starting pitcher Jarrod Parker’s right elbow went about as well as the A’s could have hoped Tuesday.

Dr. James Andrews was able to mend the medial epicondyle fracture that had shut down Parker during his injury rehabilitation assignment earlier in the month.

More than that, the replacement of Parker’s ulnar collateral ligament in a 2014 Tommy John surgery, had not been impacted by the fracture, so fears of the need for a third Tommy John surgery were put to rest.

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Return of neck pain puts an early end to Crisp’s night in Houston

Coco Crisp left Tuesday's game with a neck injury after 3 1/2 innings.

Coco Crisp left Tuesday’s game with a neck injury after 3 1/2 innings.

A’s left fielder Coco Crisp left Tuesday’s game against the Astros in Houston after four 3½ innings with neck pain.

Crisp was limited to 126 games last year mostly because of run-ins with outfield walls. He didn’t have a repeat of wall collisions Tuesday in Minute Maid Park, but he landed hard in the second inning in a diving pursuit of a double hit by Houston’s Colby Rasmus.

The left fielder began the year on the disabled list thanks to spring training elbow surgery and wasn’t reinstated to the active roster until May 6. Since then he’s made multiple outstanding defensive plays, but he’s been in search of some offense.

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Pomeranz’s shoulder issues could send him to the DL

Drew Pomeranz came up with shoulder pain Monday night that may have him targeted for the A's disabled list.

Drew Pomeranz came up with shoulder pain Monday night that may have him targeted for the A’s disabled list.

The A’s are preparing themselves for the possibility of starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz going onto the disabled list later this week.

Pomeranz came out of Monday’s start against the Astros after 4.1 innings because of left shoulder tightness, a problem the left-hander described as a problematic AC joint in the shoulder that he’s had for some time now.

When the A’s leave for Tampa Bay following Wednesday’s game, Pomeranz will be headed back to the Bay Area to have his shoulder checked out, even though Pomeranz said he felt “just normal soreness’’ when he woke up Tuesday.

“We’re going to have him looked at,’’ manager Bob Melvin said. “We’ll probably make a decision on where we are tomorrow. Obviously there’s a chance he will go on the DL.

“This is something that’s been going on for a while, and we don’t want it to continue to go on, but we haven’t made a definitive decision.’’

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Pomeranz optimistic he won’t miss time with shoulder pain

Drew Pomeranz had a recurrence of pain in his left AC joint in his shoulder. He may know Tuesday if he'll need to miss a start.

Drew Pomeranz had a recurrence of pain in his left AC joint in his shoulder. He may know Tuesday if he’ll need to miss a start.

Drew Pomeranz has been down this road before.

So while he’s concerned that pain in the AC joint of his left shoulder forced him out of Monday’s start in the fifth inning, he’s somewhat comfortable that he won’t miss a start because of the problem.

He walked five in 4.1 innings, a total he’d reached just once in seven previous starts, so that was a matter of concern. When he issued back-to-back walks in the fifth inning with one out, then went to a 2-1 count on cleanup hitter Evan Gattis, manager Bob Melvin came out and brought with him trainer Walt Horn.

They listened to Pomeranz describe what he was feeling, and Horn escorted Pomeranz off the field while Melvin waited to turn the ball over to Edward Mujica.

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Semien strikes Gallego as being tough mentally on errors

Marcus Semien gets high marks from A's infield coach Mike Gallego for the way he's handled his error problems.

Marcus Semien gets high marks from A’s infield coach Mike Gallego for the way he’s handled his error problems.

There is some good news about Marcus Semien’s defensive work this season. Really.

Mike Gallego, the A’s third base coach, handles the club’s infielders, and while Semien now has a league-worst 14 errors after one was reinstated on him Monday, Gallego is happy with the way Semien has handled himself through it all.

“A streak like this could break players; it’s happened,’’ Gallego said. “But you look at Marcus and it seems that he’s taking it in stride.

“If he makes one, he doesn’t dwell on it, and he’s out there every day during workouts, always wanting one more grounder to be hit at him.’’

It’s not like this kind of error explosion has never happened before. Not all players handle it the same. After finally arriving in the big leagues with the A’s in 1998, Miguel Tejada made 26 errors in 104 games, a total that would get him to 40 parsed out over a full season.

Semien’s total would get him to 58, but the A’s keep expecting him to settle in defensively and keep the errors to a relative minimum rather than the seven in his last eight games, a pace that A’s fans find extremely troubling.

“There are guys whose defense can get into their head and they can be broken,’’ Gallego said referring to Chuck Knoblauch and Steve Sax, both of whom has their careers cut short by their inability to throw from second base. “I don’t see that with Marcus. I think he’s going to be a good one.’’

Manager Bob Melvin remains clearly in Semien’s corner. Melvin has started him in all but one of the A’s first 39 games, and he was the starter for No. 40 Monday in Houston. Asked if he would use second baseman Ben Zobrist, expected to be back with the club next week, at shortstop some to spell Semien, Melvin said he didn’t see things playing out that way.

“At this point it’s difficult to do, because we’d be playing somebody out of position every time we wanted to give Marcus a day off. I’m not 100 percent sure, but if we give Marcus a day off, it probably would be (Eric Sogard) at shortstop and Zobrist at second.’’

Getting Zobrist back would allow for more days off for Semien because the A’s don’t have great depth at shortstop without their second baseman and Zobrist came up as a shortstop.

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Beane not ready to do whole sale reworking of roster

Billy Beane says the A's need to stay the course for now.

Billy Beane says the A’s need to stay the course for now.

The A’s have gone down the rabbit hole since the last time Billy Beane addressed Oakland’s poor start to the season.

Much has changed on the field. The A’s are 1-8 since the last time Beane took an in-depth look at the team with this newspaper. Five of the eight losses have been by one run. They have extended their streak of games in which they’ve committed an error from five games to 14.

For the general manager, however, not much has changed. Talking before boarding a flight to watch the SEC baseball tournament this week in Birmingham, Ala., Beane said the team continues to need to ride out the rough stretch that has seen Oakland own the worst record in the Major Leagues at 13-26.

In falling 12½ games behind Houston in the American League West entering a three-game set with the Astros beginning tonight, Oakland has been in fifth place in the West for 10 consecutive days with no suggestion that will end anytime soon.
Getting away from the numbers, Beane cited big injuries and bad luck as part of the issue for Oakland.

“Obviously, all this is disappointing, but given the amount of players we have on the disabled list, that’s a problem,’’ Beane said. “With the guys we have on the field, there are things that could go better; it’s part of the process.

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Ike Davis’ strained quad worse than thought, lands him on the D.L.

Ike Davis went on the DL on Saturday with his left quadriceps strain.

Ike Davis went on the DL on Saturday with his left quadriceps strain.

First baseman Ike Davis was placed on the disabled list Sunday with his strained left quadriceps after an MRI revealed it was worse than originally thought. The A’s recalled outfielder Craig Gentry from Triple-A Nashville to take his place.

Davis left Monday’s game against the Boston Red Sox after straining the quad running out a double. He stayed in the game initially, but was later replaced by a pinch-runner.

A’s manager Bob Melvin said at the time that he thought Davis would avoid the disabled list and Davis was used as a pinch-hitter Wednesday. But Davis finally got an MRI on Friday and that revealed a more serious Grade 2 strain.

Davis said a Grain 1 strain likely wouldn’t meant four or so days off and that’s clearly what the A’s thought this initially was. But the MRI showed otherwise and so Melvin said, “the best thing to do is put him on the D.L.” Continue Reading

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A’s target next homestand for Ben Zobrist’s return

Ben Zobrist could rejoin the A's when they return for their next homestand on May 25 against the Detroit Tigers.

Ben Zobrist could rejoin the A’s when they return for their next homestand on May 25 against the Detroit Tigers.

The A’s are hoping to have second baseman/outfielder Ben Zobrist back when they begin their next homestand on Memorial Day against the Detroit Tigers, manager Bob Melvin said.

Zobrist had athroscopic surgery on his left knee April 28 and will run the bases on Sunday. Assuming all goes well, he’ll run the bases once more and A’s manager Bob Melvin said he could begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment Tuesday or Wednesday.

The A’s begin a seven-game road trip Monday in Houston, where they’ll play the Astros for three games before a four-game set at the Tampa Bay Rays. Melvin doesn’t like the idea of Zobrist returning against his former team, citing the artificial turf at Tropicana Field.

“Even if he was able to play, I don’t know Tampa’s the place I’d want to play him on the turf,” Melvin said. Continue Reading