The Oakland Athletics have dealt with numerous injuries over the past few month, culminating with Brett Anderson's arm issue that has him set on a six week rehab process. While Anderson is only just beginning his rehabilitation, three other A's pitchers find themselves further along in the process, meaning a banged up pitching staff could have reinforcements on the way. Brandon McCarthy, Tyson Ross and Rich Harden are all throwing off the mound and well on their way to rehabilitation assignments in the coming days and weeks.
Brandon McCarthy and Tyson Ross got injured within a day of each other and fittingly enough each threw a bullpen session on Tuesday. McCarthy is dealing with a stress reaction in his pitching shoulder, while Ross is dealing with a left oblique strain. The A's have not specified a schedule for rehab assignments, but for now it sounds like things went well in the bullpen sessions. If they are feeling fine in the coming days, we could see McCarthy and Ross headed to either Stockton or Sacramento by early next week.
Rich Harden may actually be a bit closer to getting in some rehab innings as he will throw a simulated game on Wednesday. If all goes well on Wednesday, it sounds like Harden will be sent off on a rehab assignment. Harden went down with a shoulder injury early in spring training and has yet to throw minor or major league innings in 2011. The A's signed him to a simple one year deal and it was basically a cheap option with some upside.
Harden surprised nobody when he went down with an injury. However, if he can get sufficiently healthy, he could bring an intriguing option to either the bullpen or starting rotation. The A's do not appear to have specified where he'll slot in, although if Graham Godfrey struggles some more, it might mean a spot in the rotation. However, a rotation spot would require stretching Harden out given his lack of activity. It's entirely possible he starts his rehab assignment before McCarthy and Ross, but ends it after them.