Sorry guys, I just WALKED OFF for a minute. I'm back!
Kurt Suzuki was traded today. You knew this already. That move has set off a series of other moves, though. Let me begin by bursting your bubble: None of them have anything to do with acquiring an infielder. These moves just represent the after-math of the trade. Ready? Set? Go! (Every piece of information here is straight from Susan Slusser's Twitter account.)
1. Seth Smith placed on DL - He pulled a hammy last night, so this isn't that shocking. At this time of year, it's better to give him a break and make sure that the muscle calms down, rather than let it become a lingering problem throughout a pennant race. Plus, this unfortunate news is quite well-timed, because it was the only way that the A's could pull off their next move.
2. Derek Norris recalled from AAA - Norris was just sent down on Monday to make room for George Kottaras, and you have to wait 10 days before you recall a player who you have sent down. There is one exception, however: You can bring that player back prematurely as a replacement for another player being placed on the DL. Apparently, they don't even need to play the same position. Smith's injury couldn't have come at a better time. With the outfielder going on the DL, the A's had a loophole with which to recall Norris. Slusser also reports that Beane has named Norris as the everyday catcher. He should also be in the lineup tonight.
3. Michael Taylor recalled from AAA - While Norris is technically replacing Smith on the roster, he clearly isn't going to replace him on the field. So, Oakland needed to recall an outfielder as well, to replace Suzuki's spot on the roster. Taylor has been playing well in Sacramento lately, and he gets the call over Collin Cowgill and Shane Peterson. The 24-year-old Peterson has put up an OPS of 1.141 in 69 plate appearances for Sacramento since being promoted from AA recently. His left-handed bat would have made sense to replace Smith's half of the platoon, but Taylor is the right call here. It's time to take another look at this guy in the bigs.
4. Pat Neshek claimed off waivers, added to 25-man roster - Neshek is a right-handed reliever with a side-arm delivery. I love sidewinding relievers, regardless of how good they are, because they're fun to watch and they remind me of Chad Bradford. Thinking about Chad Bradford pretty much always makes me happy. Neshek is his own man, though, so let's take a moment to get acquainted. He had one good year, and it came with the Minnesota Twins in 2007. He threw 70.1 innings with a 2.94 ERA (146 ERA+) and a 2.74 K:BB ratio, and appeared on the ballot for the All-Star Final Vote. It was adorable to think that a middle reliever from the Twins would win the Final Vote, but hey, it's the thought that counts. After that magical season, though, Neshek would struggle with injuries (notably, TJ surgery in November 2008) and ineffectiveness until finally being picked off of waivers by the Padres in 2011, released, and signed by the Orioles this past offseason. He's spent all year at AAA Norfolk, but at least he's been good: 44 innings, 49 K's, 7 walks, 1 homer, 2.66 ERA. He's 31, and he walked more batters than he struck out in 24 innings last year, but I'm excited about Pat Neshek. There is no good reason, and he might suck. But I love sidewinders, and I still remember his awesome 2007, so he's worth a flyer in the back-end of the bullpen. It's not entirely clear if Oakland had to give up anything to get him from Baltimore.
5. Evan Scribner optioned to AAA - Someone had to go to make room for Neshek. Scribner was the last guy in the back of the bullpen, so he's out. He did solid work, and I'm sure he'll be the first guy back when someone else gets hurt.
Oakland's bullpen now looks like this:
And now, you're up to date! The roster looks quite a bit different than it did last week.