Brandon McCarthy to Disabled List (Again) and Other Moves
Brandon McCarthy, yet again, finds himself headed to the 15-day disabled list. McCarthy who has suffered from shoulder pain in his pitching shoulder again is being sidelined and is missing his Sunday start as a result. He is being placed on the disabled list retroactive to June 20th. He has been unable to make consecutive starts since he made two at the beginning of June (2nd and 7th) and prior to that had not made back-to-back starts since May 12th and 17th. McCarthy has been Oakland’s best pitcher this year with 1.6 WAR in 78 innings of 2.54 ERA, 3.36 FIP, 6.0 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and 0.6 HR/9 baseball. If this proves comparable to his previous DL stints/time off this year, I anticipate the A’s see him again in about ten days time.
Coming up for the spot start is A.J. Griffin. I have the feeling this move isn’t about his having earned it necessarily so much as it being his turn in the rotation for the River Cats. Last night (with me in attendance) the River Cats started the top pitching prospect in Sacramento, Brad Peacock in a game in Las Vegas against the 51s. That all said Griffin is still having a fine season, with a combined 2.66 ERA between Midland and Sacramento with 8.0 K/9, 1.3 BB/9 and just 0.6 HR/9 in 94 2/3 innings. Even in the tough offensive Pacific Coast League, Griffin with the River Cats had 51 1/3 innings of 7.0 K/9, 1.2 BB/9 with just 0.4 HR/9 for a 2.79 FIP truly in line with his 2.81 ERA. The right-handed Griffin is a native of El Cajon, California and is 24 years of age. He is a 13th round draft pick of the A’s in the 2010 draft. John Sickels of Minor League Ball named him a potential breakout candidate this year saying of Griffin that he,
“has an average fastball in the 88-92 range, but it plays up due to his command and a very effective curveball and changeup. He had an excellent season in 2011 but it was easy to overlook: his numbers were split between four levels. Between Low-A, High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A, Griffin posted a combined 3.47 ERA with an excellent 156/32 K/BB in 161 innings with 145 hits allowed. His performance in Double-A was mixed: a 20/11 K/BB in 32 innings with 39 hits, but overall he had a solid season that deserved more notice than it received. He has a shot as a fourth starter or reliever.”
The make room on the 40-man roster for Griffin, unsurprisingly the man left with no chair was Danny Farquhar, acquired on waivers just recently on June 9th from the Blue Jays. Farquhar was designated for assignment and in eight innings with Sacramento pitched to a 10.13 ERA and 6.33 FIP with 6.8 K/9, 6.8 BB/9 and 1.1 HR/9. Farquhar seemed the most likely candidate, and I can’t say I care one way or the other where he goes as he does not seem destined for greatness and given his propensity for being designated for assignment MLB GM’s seem to agree.
Another roster move made saw Eric Sogard demoted to Sacramento, also not entirely surprising given the new “flood” of infielders with the promotion of Brandon Hicks, with Evan Scribner taking back his spot in the bullpen. Scribner has looked good everywhere he has pitched this year, with 35 2/3 innings in Sacramento of 3.03 ERA, 3.37 FIP baseball with 9.6 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 and 1.0 HR/9, while in Oakland he has pitched just four and a third, with 10.4 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 yet to give up a home run for a 0.00 ERA to go with a 1.14 FIP. On the other hand, Sogard has looked pretty bad in Oakland with a .145/.192/.246 slash line in 74 plate appearances to go with a .199 wOBA and 21 wRC+. He has fared far better at Sacramento where he owns a .304/.429/.406 slash line in 84 plate appearances to go with his .396 wOBA and 135 wRC+ in the PCL. A move that makes sense because if the A’s feel Sogard is somehow a part of this franchise’s future, and I get the impression they do feel that way, it makes more sense for him to see playing time than to see none.