The A's hope Johnson can be a difference maker.
The A’s season-long struggles with the bat continued on Thursday, as they dropped yet another game to the Devil Rays, this time 2-1. The A’s offense could be receiving a much-needed boost on Friday with the anticipated arrival of 1B Dan Johnson. The A’s recalled Johnson on Thursday and the big left-hander should be available for the A’s game versus Cleveland on Friday. The A’s also announced some minor league transactions on Thursday. Find out the details in this edition of Transactions Log.
Dan Johnson went 1-4 in what could be his last game with the Sacramento River Cats on Thursday. He then boarded a plane for Cleveland. Johnson finishes this stint with Sacramento having hit .329 with 41 RBI and an OPS of nearly 1000 in 45 games. The A’s have yet to announce who Johnson will be replacing on the Oakland roster, but there is speculation that Erubiel Durazo will be heading to the disabled list with a sore elbow. Durazo missed the A’s game on Thursday because of his elbow, which he injured while throwing before the A’s game on Sunday against the San Francisco Giants when he played first base.
This will be Johnson’s second stint with the A’s. He was one of the A’s September call-ups last season, but he never appeared in a game because he came down with a case of vertigo. Johnson was a seventh round draft pick in 2001. He has never hit lower than .283 since joining the A’s organization and he has 95 career homeruns in his four year minor league career. The University of Nebraska alum was named the PCL MVP last season, after he hit .299 with 29 HR and 111 RBI. Johnson was the A’s Organizational Player of the Year in 2004.
Johnson was recalled a day after Nick Swisher and Britt Reames were sent back to Oakland in exchange for Matt Watson and Jermaine Clark. The A's have used a number of players from Sacramento this season, as Oakland's disabled list has been growing steadily all season.
Stockton and Kane County Swap Relievers
The A’s announced on Thursday that two of the Cougars’ best relievers were being promoted to High-A Stockton. Scot Drucker and Connor Robertson have been outstanding in the late innings for Kane County this season. Drucker saved 11 games for the Cougars. The 2004 13th round draft choice was second in the Midwest League in appearances with 21. He had a 2-3 record and a 2.86 ERA in 22 innings pitched. Drucker struck out 24 batters and walked only nine over that span.
Robertson was equally effective for the Cougars. Although he was a closer for the A’s Arizona Rookie League team last season, Robertson worked mostly in the seventh and eighth innings for the Cougars. He was a strikeout machine for Kane County, recording 47 Ks in 27.2 innings. He walked 14. Robertson was drafted in the 31st round last June out of Birmingham Southern College.
In return, Stockton sent Kane County relievers J.R. Pickens and Jose Corchado. Both pitchers were struggling with Stockton and are returning to Kane County for the second straight season. Corchado appeared in only four games for the Ports and he had allowed seven runs in 5.1 innings of work. The right-hander walked seven against only four strike outs. He pitched well for Kane County in 2004, going 5-5 with a 3.12 ERA in 33 games for the Cougars.
Pickens also struggled with the Ports this season. In 21.1 innings of work, Pickens had allowed 18 runs. He was leading the Ports pitching staff in appearances when he was sent down. Pickens went 6-2 with a 3.44 ERA in 54 appearances for Kane County in 2004.
The A’s also announced Thursday that left-handed pitcher James Heuser has been placed on the disabled list with a left elbow sprain. Heuser was 0-2 with a 4.30 ERA in 18 appearances for the Cougars. The situational southpaw was limiting opposing hitters to a .212 average before he got hurt.