Injuries Pile Up For Oakland
Over the weekend, the Oakland A's lost two crucial players to the disabled list: catcher John Jaso and closer Sean Doolittle. Jaso was placed on the seven-day disabled list with concussion symptoms, while Doolittle landed on the 15-day DL with a strained right intercostal muscle.
The A's have been deep at the catcher position all season, but that depth is suddenly being challenged. Not only is Jaso on the DL, but Stephen Vogt is battling a foot injury that has prevented him from catching for the past six weeks. Derek Norris is relatively healthy, but is fighting various bumps and bruises.
With Jaso and Vogt not available to catch, the A's went out and acquired an experienced back-up catcher to pair with Norris: Texas backstop Geovany Soto. The veteran Soto has missed most of the season with injuries himself, but he is healthy at the moment. He has a career 771 OPS in nine-plus MLB seasons with the Rangers and the Chicago Cubs. He has played only 64 games total over the past two seasons. Soto was acquired for cash considerations.
The A's also acquired minor league catcher Bryan Anderson from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for international slot money. Anderson, a former top prospect in the St. Louis Cardinals system, is likely to join the A's when rosters expand if Jaso is still unavailable.
Anderson had two hits in six at-bats in his debut with the River Cats on Monday. He was batting .315 with a 925 OPS in 73 games at Double-A and Triple-A before the trade. Anderson has 35 career games at the major-league level. Sacramento catcher Luis Martinez was placed on the temporary inactive list, making room for Anderson on the roster.
The A's recalled Dan Otero to replace Doolittle on the 25-man roster. Otero had been optioned to Sacramento on Friday when the A's activated Craig Gentry off the disabled list. Otero will return to his role as a right-handed set-up man for Oakland. Eric O'Flaherty is expected to get the majority of the save opportunities while Doolittle is out. O'Flaherty was in-line to get a save for the A's on Monday, but Oakland scored five insurance runs in the top of the ninth. O'Flaherty worked a scoreless ninth in the non-save chance.
The A's did get some good injury news on Monday. Third baseman Josh Donaldson missed Sunday's game against the Angels with a knee injury. The MRI on his knee came back showing no structural damage. Donaldson played on Monday and drove-in three in the A's 8-2 win over Houston.
RockHounds Post-Season Bound
With a 5-1 win over the Frisco RoughRiders on Monday, the Midland RockHounds punched their ticket to the Texas League post-season. Shawn Haviland was brilliant in the win, allowing just three hits and a walk in eight scoreless innings. He struck-out four.
Dusty Coleman and Conner Crumbliss each had two RBI in the win. Crumbliss, D'Arby Myers and Jeremy Barfield all had two-hit nights. The win was the RockHounds' 73rd on the year. If the season ended today, the A's would have four playoff teams (Oakland, Sacramento, Midland and Stockton).
Peterson Honored By PCL
Outfielder Shane Peterson was named to the Pacific Coast League's post-season All-Star team on Monday. Peterson is the River Cats' lone representative.
Peterson celebrated the honor with a two-hit, two-walk game for the River Cats in their 20-1 blow-out of the Nashville Sounds. He leads the PCL in hits (162), RBI (88) and doubles (38). He is batting .314 on the year and .361 over his last 10 games.
- On Sunday, Stockton Ports' left-hander Chris Lamb struck-out a career-high 17 in a seven-inning outing. Lamb was the tough-luck loser in the game, but he was nearly unhittable. At one point, he struck-out 10 batters in a row. He has a 3.17 ERA in 125 innings for Stockton and Beloit this year. He has 130 Ks and 43 walks.
- The Sacramento River Cats had 24 hits and 20 runs in their rout of the Nashville Sounds on Monday. Every River Cats' batter had at least two hits. Sacramento also walked five times. Jose Martinez homered. Nick Buss and Alden Carrithers each had four hits. Daric Barton drove-in four.
- Dillon Overton had five strike-outs in three innings in his latest outing for the Vermont Lake Monsters on Sunday. The A's second pick in 2013 now has a 1.59 ERA and a 47:4 K:BB in 34 innings as he makes his way back from last year's Tommy John surgery.