The Oakland A’s placed pitcher Trevor Cahill on the 10-day disabled list, the team announced Thursday. To take his place in the rotation, Chris Bassitt was called up from Triple-A Nashville. They also made a move in the bullpen, optioning down lefty Danny Coulombe and bringing up righty Carlos Ramirez.
The Cahill move was a long time coming. His strained right Achilles already cost him his last start, and now he’ll officially go on the shelf to let it heal. The move is retroactive to Monday (June 11), and insider Jane Lee reports there is not yet a timetable for his return. This is his second DL stint of the season after a brief elbow scare in mid-May, but the bright side is that it’s not an arm problem this time. When healthy, the right-hander has been one of Oakland’s best starters.
Cahill, 2018: 2.77 ERA, 48⅔ ip, 47 Ks, 11 BB, 4 HR, 3.03 FIP
In his place, the A’s will turn to Bassitt. The big righty covered for Cahill’s last start on Saturday and posted an excellent line against the Royals (7 ip, 1 run, 6 Ks, 1 BB, 3 hits), though that performance came with the caveats that the Royals lineup is absolute trash and nobody (except the Astros) can seem to score at the Coliseum so far this season. To his credit, though, it was also Bassitt’s first MLB action in over two years following Tommy John surgery. He’ll get a tougher test next time out against the Angels, who come to town on Friday, though he’ll still get to enjoy the friendly expanses of the A’s home park.
Bassitt, 2018 AAA: 6.10 ERA, 38⅓ ip, 40 Ks, 14 BB, 2 HR, 3.95 FIP
Meanwhile, the bullpen gets a bit of a shakeup as well. Coulombe had a brilliant month of May, but he’s been inconsistent his last several times out. He was particularly shaky on Wednesday, facing six batters and allowing three walks and a homer. With the innings-eating section of the bullpen taxed after a couple of long nights against the Astros, he’ll head back to Nashville in favor of a fresh arm.
Coulombe, 2018: 4.70 ERA, 23 ip, 25 Ks, 11 BB, 5 HR, 5.18 FIP
The new reinforcement is Ramirez, marking his second stint with the A‘s this year. The righty was claimed off waivers in late May and made one appearance for Oakland shortly thereafter, throwing two scoreless frames against the Rays. Click here to learn more about Ramirez and his slider-heavy arsenal.
Ramirez, 2018 AAA Nash: 10.50 ERA, 6 ip, 6 Ks, 4 BB, 1 HR, 7.46 FIP
Those small-sample numbers look ugly, but Ramirez was nothing short of dominant in the minors throughout 2017. He also threw some innings in Toronto’s system this year before moving to Oakland’s, so his overall Triple-A stats for the season are at least slightly less bad (7.53 ERA, 5.54 FIP, 14⅓ ip).
With Coulombe out of the picture for now, the A’s have zero lefties in their current bullpen. On the bright side, though, fellow southpaw Ryan Buchter is on a rehab assignment from his own injury and could be back before too much longer.
Why Ramirez instead of some of the superior arms in Triple-A? I see this as emergency duty. Frankie Montas and Bassitt are starting the next two days against tough opponents, and despite their initial success this year they are both relatively untested. We saw what happened to Paul Blackburn on Wednesday when he transitioned from facing the Royals (awesome start against terrible team) to the Astros (torched by champs).
Ramirez can mop up for the next couple days if needed while the other long-men rest and recover, and then head back down to Nashville in favor of the next arm in line (Lucas, Dull, Wahl, etc.). If the A’s are instead in position to win these next two games, then the star relievers are fresh and ready to protect the lead(s).
Here’s the updated roster:
Sean Manaea (L)
Daniel Mengden (R)
Paul Blackburn (R)
Frankie Montas (R)
Chris Bassitt (R)
Blake Treinen (R)
Lou Trivino (R)
Yusmerio Petit (R)
Emilio Pagan (R)
Chris Hatcher (R)
Santiago Casilla (R)
Liam Hendriks (R)
Carlos Ramirez (R)
Jonathan Lucroy (R)
Josh Phegley (R)
Matt Olson (L)
Jed Lowrie (S)
Marcus Semien (R)
Matt Chapman (R)
Khris Davis (R)
Stephen Piscotty (R)
Dustin Fowler (L)
Mark Canha (R)
Chad Pinder (R)
Jake Smolinski (R)
10-day DL: RHP Trevor Cahill (Achilles), RHP Daniel Gossett (elbow), RHP Andrew Triggs (triceps), LHP Brett Anderson (shoulder), LHP Ryan Buchter (shoulder), OF Matt Joyce (back)
60-day DL: RHP Jharel Cotton (TJS), OF Boog Powell (knee)