The Oakland Athletics suffered a tough loss on Thursday as starting pitcher Tyson Ross had to exit the game with a left oblique strain after facing two batters. Oblique strains are tricky injuries that often require several weeks of rehabilitation. Even if Ross does not end up with a long DL stay, his next scheduled start this coming Tuesday May 24 against the Angels is likely to require a replacement.
The A's have some solid pitching talent at the AAA level and will likely dip into that pool of pitchers to replace Ross while he recovers. Over at Athletics Nation, the discussion has already begun as to who would/should replace Ross. The primary candidates listed are Josh Outman, Guillermo Moscoso and Graham Godfrey. Bobby Cramer would have been a very realistic option but he was recently placed on the AAA disabled list with his own oblique strain.
Of the three listed, Godfrey is pitching the best with a solid K/BB ratio and generally solid numbers. However, unlike the other pitchers, he is not on the 40-man roster at this point. If the A's wanted to bring them up, they would have to DFA one of their current 40-man roster players, or find a 15-day DL'd player to move to the 60-day DL.
Outman is the guy the A's would probably love to see breaking through right now given his return from Tommy John surgery. However, he is struggling a bit with his control at AAA and the A's probably want to see him settle down a bit before calling him back up to the big leagues. As for Moscoso, he was acquired in a minor league trade this past offseason and is already on the 40-man roster so he has that going for him.
The FanPost above had one intriguing additional option in mentioning Armando Galarraga. The formerly almost perfect pitcher was recently designated for assignment by the Arizona Diamondbacks and will likely clear waivers due to a $2.3 million price tag. The A's would either need to trade for him or hope the Diamondbacks cut him loose, but either way Oakland would need to find room on the 40-man roster.
At this point, those would seem to be the A's primary options, with Galarraga being a much longer shot and more of a creative option. We'll find out more in the next few days. The A's have a few days to make a roster move so I'd imagine they'll hold off until they're absolutely positive on Ross' status going forward.
In the meantime, Ross had a few words about the injury following Thursday's game: