The Oakland A's selected the contract of right-handed pitcher Zach Neal and placed second baseman Jed Lowrie on the 15-day disabled list with what the club calls a shin contusion. To create room on the 40-man roster for Neal, infielder Eric Sogard was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
The A's also called up left-handed pitcher Eric Surkamp to make Wednesday's start, as expected. The club optioned left-handed reliever Daniel Coulombe back to Triple-A Nashville.
The A's will play with a three-man bench for Wednesday's contest (perhaps two, depending on Danny Valencia's availability) before (I assume) optioning either Neal or Andrew Triggs for another position player. Infielders Max Muncy and Renato Nunez are currently the leading hitters in Nashville. Chris Coghlan and Tyler Ladendorf will take the bulk of the duties at second base for now.
Heading out: Jed Lowrie and Daniel Coulombe
Lowrie left Monday's contest against the Boston Red Sox after fouling a ball off his shin. While postgame x-rays came back negative, San Francisco Chronicle A's beat writer reports Lowrie saying, "It hurts like hell."
Lowrie has turned out to be one of Oakland's most clutch hitters with 17 RBIs. He has a .302 average, but has not hit a home run this year. His .302/.341/.345 batting line is good for a 96 wRC+.
Daniel Coulombe was called up on Tuesday and threw two innings stretched across the third to fifth frames in relief of Sean Manaea's poor start that day. He struck out two and walked two before allowing a three-run home run to Red Sox third baseman Travis Shaw. Coulombe had also thrown 21 pitches for Nashville on Monday.
Coming in: Zach Neal and Eric Surkamp
The Miami Marlins released Zach Neal at the end of 2013 spring training, and the A's signed him two days later as a starter. In three Triple-A seasons (2014-16), Neal, 27, owns a 3.95 ERA with 178 strikeouts and 39 walks with 27 home runs allowed in 287 innings.
Neal has been making the most of the opportunity to continue as a starting pitcher after multiple injuries at the major league level opened a rotation spot for him. In six starts, Neal has 2.70 ERA with 20 strikeouts and two walks with two home runs allowed in 36 2/3 innings. Oakland Clubhouse's Melissa Lockard has details on Neal's repertoire from minor league field coordinator Aaron Nieckula at this hyperlinked text.
Eric Surkamp rejoins the A's for what looks like two starts, beginning with Wednesday's contest in Boston. The A's will need a fifth starter again on May 17 against Texas, which is one day too early to recall Jesse Hahn under the minimum 10-day period for optional assignments.
Staying in Nashville: Jesse Hahn, Max Muncy, and Renato Nunez
The A's did pass up an opportunity to get Hahn back without him missing a start. The A's could have waited a day to place Lowrie on the disabled list and used the injured player exception to the 10-day rule to call up Hahn without him missing a start. The A's would have foregone Zach Neal's services as a long reliever today, however.
For now, the A's are going with a three-man bench, but the A's could send Neal back to Nashville after today and bring up another infielder. Max Muncy and Renato Nunez are Nashville's top hitters and both are third baseman, with Nunez getting most of the starts at third while Muncy has been getting more time in the outfield this year.