After seeing three players leave their Monday night, 19-inning win with injuries, the Oakland A's were expected to make a flurry of roster moves on Tuesday. The A's wound-up making only one move on Tuesday, but made two more Wednesday. Oakland announced hours before their series finale against the Los Angeles Angels that CF Coco Crisp (hamstring) and Opening Day starter Brett Anderson (ankle) have been placed on the DL.
Replacing Crisp and Anderson on the active roster are catcher Luke Montz and starter Dan Straily. Straily, who started Monday night's game, was actually sent down to Sacramento on Tuesday to make room for reliever Evan Scribner. However, Straily was allowed to return to the A's roster immediately because he is replacing an injured player.
Montz takes the 40-man roster spot that was left open when the A's traded OF Casper Wells to the Chicago White Sox on Monday. Montz will be making his Oakland A's debut after signing with the organization as a minor league free agent this off-season. He has 10 games of MLB experience, all of them coming with the Washington Nationals in 2008.
Montz was a 17th-round pick of the Montreal Expos in 2003. The Louisiana native spent 11 years in the Expos/Nationals chain before joining the New York Mets as a free agent in 2010. In 2011 and 2012, he played in the Marlins' chain. Last season, Montz hit a career-high 29 homers for Miami's Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans.
The right-handed hitter was off to an excellent start at the plate for the River Cats. In 15 games (53 at-bats), Montz was batting .283/.406/.679. He had five homers and six doubles and he had walked 11 times. Montz has hit righties and lefties equally well thus far this year.
A catcher by trade, Montz also has plenty of experience at first base and limited experience in left field. He spent most of spring training in the A's big league camp and should be familiar with the team's pitching staff.
Straily will slide into Anderson's spot in the rotation for at least the next three weeks, and he could remain there for the rest of the season if he pitches well. The right-hander has had two starts with the A's thus far this year. In 11.1 innings, he has struck-out 17 and he has walked only one.
Straily was dominant in his first big league start of the season, which came against the Houston Astros during the first week of the season. However, on Monday night, he was hit hard by the middle of the Angels' line-up. Albert Pujols and Mark Trumbo connected on homeruns against Straily and Straily was tagged for six runs allowed in 4.2 innings.
In general, however, Straily's command has been much better in his first two big league starts this year than it was for most of his time in the majors last summer. Straily walked six in 18.2 innings for the River Cats in three starts this year and he didn't allow a homer.
The A's starting rotation has gotten off to a slow start this year, so Straily will have an opportunity with these three or four starts in Anderson's stead to establish himself as one of the A's five best starting pitching options.
Oakland finished the month of April with a 16-12 record, two games out of first place behind the Texas Rangers. The A's will undoubtedly miss the presence of Crisp at the top of their line-up while he is on the DL. Crisp is off to a fast start this year, with a 943 OPS and 24 runs scored in 24 games played. He has 17 walks and only seven strike-outs, and he has eight stolen bases in nine chances. Crisp has set the tone for the A's offense for much of the past two seasons and has been a stabilizing force defensively up-the-middle.
Losing an Opening Day starter is never a good development for a team, either, although Anderson's DL stint may end up helping him at the end of the season. In his first season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, Anderson threw less than 70 innings last season between his minor league rehab assignments, the MLB regular season and the post-season. Although the A's weren't planning to limit Anderson's innings this season, this DL stint will serve to keep that innings total down and could keep him healthier during the season's final months. Injuries have been an issue for Anderson throughout his career, as he has been on the DL for at least one stint in every year he has been with the A's organization except for 2009.