DLD 6/5: Injury News (GOOD!) and the Reason for DJ's Struggles?

First off.... 4 FRIKKIN DAYS TO THE WORLD CUP!!!! I can't remember ever being so excited (well, maybe a few A's games). I hope all you guys are ready...

Well, lets start with the injuries:

Joe Kennedy threw off a mound for the first time since May 9th.

Briefly: Joe Kennedy threw 20 pitches off the mound for the first time since May 9, and manager Ken Macha said he was "whipping'' the ball. Kennedy (biceps and shoulder tendinitis) will work out at Sacramento this week and could throw a simulated game Saturday and make a rehab appearance the following week.

YAY!!!! (whoever thought we'd be happy about the return of Joe Kennedy?!).

Big Frank Thomas-Yesterday was just a precaution.

Designated hitter Frank Thomas came out of the game with pain in his left foot after doubling and scoring in his first at-bat. It's the same foot that kept Thomas out most of the past two seasons; he had surgery on his left ankle to repair a fractured navicular bone, which is held together by screws. He ran slowly and gingerly on his double down the left-field line (barely making it without a slide after being deked by Juan Castro) and he moved just as poorly when he came home on Bobby Crosby's single to right-center.

"It's no big deal,'' Thomas said. "It was just sore to start the day, I should have taken the day off. Instead, the worst thing happened -- I hit a double my first at-bat and had to score (two pitches later). I was in and out of the slush bucket, and it feels a lot better.''

Thomas believes he'll be able to play Tuesday. This would be a poor time for the team to lose Thomas for any extended period, because he has rediscovered his hitting stroke in the past few weeks, with a .328 average and 17 walks over his past 20 games.

What the hell is the slush bucket? Is that the bath full of ice?

Milton Bradley, Es-TEH-ban Loaiza, Jay Witasick: (from the same article as the Thomas).

All will be back  for the Indians series.

Outfielder Milton Bradley (knee, oblique muscle) and reliever Jay Witasick (ankle sprain) are expected back Tuesday at Cleveland, and Esteban Loaiza (strained trapezius muscle) will start Thursday against the Indians.

Bradley will play at Triple-A Sacramento tonight and fly first thing Tuesday morning to make it to Cleveland in time for that night's game; the A's made two moves after Sunday's games to clear room for Bradley and Witasick, sending down catcher Jeremy Brown and reliever Matt Roney.

And finally, Rich Harden comes back!! He struggled a bit, but nobody not named Joe Mauer can touch him! Slusser recaps.

Some good mojo pictures:

Danny Boy after his homer!!!

Speaking of Dan Johnson, there may be a reason behind his struggles:

Johnson has had trouble with dry eyes, leading to briefly blurred vision when he blinks because he isn't producing tears. After a trip to an ophthalmologist, Johnson received eye drops, but he is still experiencing difficulty.


Johnson emphasized that he does not want to use the condition as an excuse for his struggles, insisting that when he does connect with the ball, the problem doesn't affect him. He acknowledged, however, that sometimes he does blink when the ball is released -- and when that happens and his vision blurs, he has to take the pitch. That is not the optimum way to go about hitting.

Emphasis mine. So could this be at least a partial explanation why Johnson has been severly underperforming? I'll take it. The A's need Johnson to heat up. They simply can't sustain such weak production for a whole year.

Shane Keough update-As some of us know, the A's drafted special assistan to Billy Beane (Matt Keough's) son last year in the 36th round. He was a draft and follow, meaning he spent the year at junior college where he significantly improved his stock. He hit .314 with 18 doubles, 5 triples and 5 homers and 21 SB's (204 at bats).

Here is what BA says in their draft preview:

He does have exciting tools that have invited comparisons to Steve Finley thanks to his lithe, athletic frame. The state's top draft-eligible athlete, Keough is an above-average runner, covering 60 yards in 6.5 seconds, and a switch-hitter with solid-average power, particularly from the right side. His long legs and gliding stride make him a potential plus defender with enough arm for center field. His arm has improved nearly two grades since the fall as he adjusts to a longer arm stroke, making it a fringe-average tool.....and his approach at the plate remains raw as a result. Keough made adjustments as the year went on, cutting down on his strikeouts, but he still swings and misses too much.

And lastly, Monday's suck

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