Until recently the Oakland Athletics had done a good job keeping their players healthy. However, starting with the shoulder injury to Dallas Braden, the injury concerns have quickly reverted back to the norm of the past few seasons. Earlier today the A’s placed starting pitchers Tyson Ross and Brandon McCarthy on the 15-day disabled list. Ross injured his left oblique on Thursday, while McCarthy has had a stress reaction in his right shoulder. The A’s also demoted relief pitcher Trystan Magnuson to AAA after he gave up six runs in two innings against the Twins on Thursday.
To replace those three pitchers, the A’s recalled Jerry Blevins, Joey Devine and Fautino De Los Santos from AAA-Sacramento. Blevins had spent the early part of the season in Oakland but was demoted after struggling with control issues. He has struggled a bit at Sacramento, but the A’s need arms after running through much of their bullpen on Thursday.
Devine has pitched quite well in Sacramento this year while recovering from Tommy John surgery, but has yet to pitch on back-to-back days. The A’s have a solid bullpen so they won’t necessarily need back-to-back performances from him for now. In 2011 he’s made 11 appearances for Sacramento, throwing 12 1/3 innings and giving up no runs in that time. Throw in a 17 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio and he will be an intriguing presence in the A’s bullpen.
However, the most interesting addition was the promotion of Fautino De Los Santos who the A’s acquired from the White Sox in the 2008 Nick Swisher trade. De Los Santos was originally brought over as a starter but was moved to the bullpen at the beginning of 2010. In 13 appearances this year between Midland and Sacramento, De Los Santos has an ERA of 1.76 in 15 1/3 innings with a K/BB ratio of 21/8.
This infusion of arms gives the A’s bullpen a bit of a respite. Blevins last pitched on Tuesday, while Devine and De Los Santos last pitched on Monday. However, with Trevor Cahill starting Friday night against the Giants, the A’s are hoping for a limited bullpen need.