Crisp and Anderson Sent to Disabled List
Several times this offseason I remarked that I was concerned about the A’s starting pitching depth. It was impossible for me to make this comment without highlighting how the A’s appointed ace Brett Anderson had not made 30 starts in a season since 2009 – incidentally also his only time making 30 starts in a season at the MLB level (or MiLB level or combined for that matter). Well he likely won’t make 30 starts either for the 2013 A’s as today he is headed to the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right ankle. This is the fifth time since Anderson made his MLB debut on April 10, 2009 that he has landed himself on the disabled list. So far on the season Anderson hasn’t been ace-worthy in the least with a 6.21 ERA owing largely to a .341 BABIP and 58.4% strand rate and a career worst 14.3% HR/FB%. One can wonder if the more porous than recently Oakland defense is partially to blame as Anderson is managing a career high 63.2% ground ball rate which should lead to better results. That said his peripherals say he should be much better with a 3.92 FIP and 3.61 xFIP but again those are solid numbers not necessarily ace numbers for a team defending a division crown. Anderson himself is of course to blame too as his walk rate (4.7 BB/9) is double his career mark (2.4 K/9) though his K/9 is his career’s best too at an even 9.0 K/9. The loss of Anderson struggling or not is significant. Dan Straily is set to take his place on the roster and he has had one good and one bad start to his credit in 2013.
Coco Crisp is the other injured Athletic being sent to the disabled list. Crisp has been off to a quick start in 2013 hitting .283/.388/.556 in the early go with five home runs, a still absurdly high for him .273 ISO and eight stolen bases in nine attempts. Crisp’s loss is a significant one too given his play but the A’s certainly are better able to weather a loss in the outfield than they are in the rotation. Crisp is being put on retroactive to yesterday, it is unfortunate that this didn’t happen when the A’s still had Casper Wells, but one cannot have injuries ever happen at a convenient time.
Curiously the A’s are opting to replace Crisp not with Shane Peterson or Michael Taylor which would be more expected but instead with catcher Luke Montz who is being added to the 40-man roster taking the spot Wells vacated being dealt to Chicago. Montz has demonstrated solid power in MiLB with 144 home runs in 3,629 plate appearances to go with a .198 ISO in his MiLB career. So far in 2013, Montz who has not played in the Majors since 2008 with Washington, Montz is hitting .283/.406/.679 with five dingers in 64 turns at the dish. Given Montz is a catcher and the A’s have two of those already with John Jaso and Derek Norris, it isn’t entirely clear how he will be used which is why I was surprised he replaced Coco. He has played first base extensively so perhaps he can give Brandon Moss a day off or so, but he does have five games at left field in his MLB career and one in right field too for what it is worth if the A’s get creative with positioning.