A's Set Unwanted Record
After last season, general manager Billy Beane said one emphasis for 2008 would be to reduce injuries. There were changes to the medical and training staffs, among other tweaks of the training program.
Why the increase, then? Part of it is that many of the players who were hurt last year were hurt again this year. Or they were still hurt from last year in the cases of third baseman Eric Chavez and Duchscherer at the very start of the season.
Some of the injured players have extensive medical histories (Rich Harden, Frank Thomas, Mike Sweeney, Keith Foulke).
Some of the injuries were freak things, such as Daric Barton's diving into a shallow pool headfirst and Andrew Brown's appendectomy.
And then there was the fact that the A's were more cautious after last season. Ryan Sweeney went on the DL with a bruised toe at one point; he estimated he might have missed two or three games at the most.
A'S 2, MARINERS 0: A meeting of two of the league's struggling teams did not result in much offense. Emil Brown hit a two-out homer off Ryan Rowland-Smith in the sixth, and rookie Carlos Gonzalez snapped an 0-for-23 streak with an RBI single in the eighth. The A's are 25-18 in the first games of series this season and 33-51 in all other games.
--RHP Justin Duchscherer was placed on the disabled list Thursday. He will get a cortisone shot for right hip inflammation on Friday and will not throw for several days. The All-Star is expected to be able to throw again by early September. LHP Dana Eveland will make a spot start Saturday in place of Duchscherer, who missed most of 2007 after surgery on his right hip.
--RHP Sean Gallagher was placed on the disabled list with arm fatigue. The rookie gave up a career-high 11 hits and 10 runs Tuesday at Minnesota and said afterward that he felt as if he had nothing on the ball. Gallagher was obtained from the Cubs in the Rich Harden deal.
--OF Carlos Gonzalez snapped a career-high 0-for-23 streak with an RBI single in the eighth inning Thursday at Seattle. The rookie has struck out 31 times in his past 22 games. He's 2-for-18 against the Mariners this season.
--LHP Dan Meyer was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on Thursday, and he is scheduled to start Sunday at Seattle. Meyer will be working on six days' rest. His last appearance was in long relief on Aug. 17. He is 0-1 with a 5.52 ERA with the A's this season and 10-5 with a 4.48 ERA with Sacramento.
--LHP Dana Eveland was recalled from Sacramento on Thursday, and he will start Saturday at Seattle in placed of injured RHP Justin Duchscherer. Eveland went 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA during a brief stint at Sacramento after being demoted by the A's on Aug. 3. He said he has modified his delivery significantly since his last start with the A's. He now no longer goes over his head to start his delivery.
BY THE NUMBERS: 17 -- Rookies Oakland has used this year through Aug. 17, matching the team's total from all of 2007 and the second most in the majors this year behind the Giants. Nine A's players have made their major-league debuts this year.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's been tough. It's been really tough. We haven't won a lot of ballgames. The only other stretch I can remember was in 2005, early in the season -- but I think this is probably a little bit worse. It's not a lot of fun." -- Second baseman Mark Ellis, on the A's inability to win a series in more than a month, the team's longest such stretch since 1979.
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