The Oakland Athletics activated relief pitcher Ryan Cook from the disabled list on Tuesday, according to Susan Slusser. The right-hander was down with forearm tightness, and apparently that was not (yet) code for Tommy John surgery after all. To make room on the roster, they put right fielder Josh Reddick on the DL with a hyperextended knee; he suffered the injury in Saturday's game against the Angels.
This move was expected. On Sunday, the A's brought up catcher Stephen Vogt, and to do so they had to send down reliever Fernando Rodriguez and leave themselves with only six arms in the bullpen. That move signaled a likelihood that Cook's return was imminent, because it seemed unlikely that the team would go with a short pen on a nine-game road trip (or at all, ever).
Cook was off to a good start before going down in the first game of Oakland's doubleheader against Seattle on May 7. He appeared in 12 games and threw 12⅓ innings with a 2.92 ERA, six hits, 15 strikeouts and nine walks. While those walks may seem a bit high, remember that he also missed spring training and was therefore still shaking off some rust in April (four walks in his first three outings, and six in his first five games). It remains to be seen how Cook's control will look since he hasn't been able to settle into a groove yet this year, but what's important is that the A's are getting back one of the guys who was supposed to be part of a devastating relief corps entering the season. Sure, Jim Johnson is still an enigma, but with Cook back, Doolittle dealing, Gregerson beginning to settle down, and O'Flaherty on his way back, the pen is looking better every day.
Reddick, meanwhile, has not been able to string together a sustained hot streak this year. He's batting just .214/.279/.339 for the season with four home runs and nearly three strikeouts for every walk. Every time he looks like he's heating up, it turns out to be just a couple of good games. Granted, he's still been worth nearly an entire win by measure of bWAR due to his insane fielding abilities (despite a 76 OPS+), so he's still a productive player, but it's difficult to remain optimistic that we'll ever see anything resembling his 2012 season again.
With Reddick out, the versatility of the roster will be called on and the lineup will be a daily game of musical chairs. Coco and Cespedes figure to start in the outfield, and the third spot could either go to Craig Gentry or to Brandon Moss, with Kyle Blanks (vs. LHP) or Alberto Callaspo (vs. RHP) covering first base. There are plenty of options available for every position, so don't worry about that. Besides the outfield trio of Cespedes/Coco/Gentry, Moss can cover the corners, and Blanks and Stephen Vogt can play in left. Bob Melvin will have no problem plugging whatever names he wants into the lineup every day. Well, as long as Reddick isn't one of the names that he wants, because he's on the DL now.
As for Tuesday's game in New York, Moss is back in the lineup after missing two games with calf tightness. However, he is DH'ing as he gets his legs back underneath him. Gentry gets the start in right and Callaspo is playing first against Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda. Note that Kuroda has allowed nine home runs in 65 innings and that Moss hits approximately two per game, so there could be fireworks this afternoon.
Welcome back, Ryan! And get well soon, Josh!