The Oakland A's are 17-10, but not all is sunshine and rainbows in A's country. The A's learned definitively on Tuesday that they would be without right-hander A.J. Griffin for the entire season. Griffin will undergo elbow surgery on Tuesday. It isn't yet confirmed that the surgery will be Tommy John, although that is likely.
Griffin joins fellow right-hander Jarrod Parker as projected A's rotation members now out for the year with elbow injuries. With Griffin and Parker sidelined, the A's now have just seven pitchers on their 40-man roster with experience starting in the major leagues. One of those pitchers - left-hander Drew Pomeranz - is currently pitching out of the A's bullpen and isn't stretched out to start if the A's need another starter. Josh Lindblom is the other member of the A's 40-man roster with major league starting experience who isn't currently in Oakland's starting rotation.
Lindblom has already started one game for the A's this season (a spot start during a double-header that took place the first week of the season). He is expected to make another start for the A's next week when they take on the Seattle Mariners for a double-header. Lindblom has a 7.23 ERA and an 18:7 K:BB in 23.2 innings for Sacramento thus far this season.
As thin as the A's rotation is at the moment, Oakland's bullpen has grown even deeper since the start of the season. The A's announced on Tuesday that right-hander Fernando Rodriguez had been reinstated from the disabled list and was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento. Before the start of the season, it was believed that Rodriguez was out of options, so the fact the A's did have an option remaining with Rodriguez was a surprise. That is the second time this season that a reliever that was believed to be out-of-options in fact had one remaining (Evan Scribner was the other).
With Rodriguez and Scribner in Sacramento, the A's have two legitimate major league relievers with significant big league experience pitching at Triple-A. Both pitchers have thrown well for the River Cats thus far. Scribner has yet to allow a run in seven innings through Monday. He has 10 strike-outs and two walks and four saves. Rodriguez has allowed one earned run in 8.2 innings through Monday. He has 10 strike-outs and two walks.
- In other injury news, OF Josh Whitaker was placed on the disabled list for the Midland Rockhounds. He joins Addison Russell, Raul Alcantara, Tanner Peters, Ryan Lipkin and D'Arby Myers on a talented Midland disabled list. OF Billy Burns is also nursing an injury and he hasn't played since April 24. With Whitaker, Myers and Burns all ailing, first baseman Anthony Aliotti and catcher Blake Forsythe have seen time in the outfield for Midland.
- Despite all of the injuries, Midland has a 15-9 record after a stirring come-from-behind victory on Tuesday night. The RockHounds scored four times in the bottom of the ninth to defeat the Corpus Christi Hooks. The Hooks at one time led 7-1. Aliotti had the walk-off single and Miles Head hit a two-run double that tied the game earlier in the inning. Conner Crumbliss walked five times and Midland earned 12 free passes on the night. Beau Taylor had three hits and Chad Oberacker and Dusty Coleman each had two.
- Murphy Smith was brilliant once again in a long-relief role for Midland. He allowed just two hits in 4.1 innings of work, striking out three. He has allowed just one run in 21.2 innings this season. Smith has allowed only nine hits and four walks and he has 16 strike-outs. Jesus Castillo allowed one run in three innings of relief and he earned the win.
- Right-hander Michael Ynoa was activated off of the Stockton Ports' disabled list on Tuesday. Ynoa had been on the DL since April 12 with bicep tendinitis. Right-hander Tim Atherton, who took a perfect game into the eighth inning on Thursday, was placed on the DL on Tuesday. Jonathan Joseph made a spot start in Atherton's place for Stockton on Tuesday night. On Monday, reliever Tyler Hollstegge joined the Ports' roster from extended spring training. He made his 2014 regular season debut on Tuesday.
- Tucker Healy was touched for a rare homerun, and the Stockton Ports dropped a slugfest to the Bakersfield Blaze, 9-8, on Tuesday. Healy pitched a scoreless eighth inning, but he allowed a lead-off, walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth. It was just the second run allowed by Healy this season through 11.1 innings. Chad Pinder finished a double short of the cycle. The homer was his seventh of the season. Bruce Maxwell raised his average to .341 with a three-hit night. Dusty Robinson hit his sixth homer, while Aaron Shipman and Ryon Healy had doubles.
- The Sacramento River Cats dropped to 14-11 on the season with a 9-2 loss to the Tacoma Rainiers on Tuesday. Reliever Fernando Nieve had a rough outing, allowing five runs in two innings that saw the Rainiers stretch their 4-2 lead to 9-2. Shane Peterson had three hits, while Tyler Ladendorf continued his red-hot start with two doubles. He now has eight doubles and a .385 average on the season. Ladendorf drove-in both Sacramento runs one night after he scored both of Sacramento's runs. Andy Parrino also had a two-hit night.
- Through Tuesday, every A's full-season affiliate had a winning record with the exception of the Low-A Beloit Snappers, who were the only A's affiliate to make the post-season last year. The Snappers' woes increased on Tuesday, as they were swept in a double-header by the Peoria Chiefs. Beloit dropped Game One, 11-6, and Game Two, 6-3, in extra-innings. Ryan Huck hit homeruns in each of the games, his first and second of the season. Michael Soto (3) and B.A. Vollmuth (2) also homered for Beloit on Tuesday. Chris Lamb was a bright spot for Beloit, tossing five shut-out innings in relief in Game Two. Lamb has a 15:4 K:BB and a 3.27 ERA in 11 innings this season.