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Shoulder Injury Sends Athletics Veteran to the Injured List

The Oakland Athletics placed veteran starter Alex Wood on the 15-day injured list on Wednesday with left rotator cuff tendonitis. Additionally, Oakland demoted pitcher Brady Basso to Triple-A and moved infielder Darell Hernaiz to the 60-day IL. These moves will open roster spots for right-hander Aaron Brooks and lefty Hogan Harris.

Oakland Athletics Place Alex Wood on the Injured List

Oakland signed Wood this winter to give him a chance to re-establish himself as a major league starter. Unfortunately, the overall results have been disappointing. In nine starts, Wood has pitched 39 1/3 innings to a 5.26 ERA (74 ERA+) with poor walk and strikeout rates.

That said, perhaps we have some answers to explain his struggles. The Athletics placed Wood on the injured list days after he lasted just two innings in his Sunday start. Following the game, manager Mark Kotsay revealed that the southpaw has been dealing with shoulder issues for some time. It seems that Wood could no longer pitch through the injury and will take time off to recover.

Wood’s Rotation Replacement

Wood’s next turn in the rotation is scheduled for Friday. Though no decision has been announced, Brooks is one option to take the hill. The 34-year-old has a 4.57 ERA in eight minor league starts this season.

His ERA is not awful considering Oakland’s Triple-A affiliate plays in an offense-friendly environment. Plus, Brooks has given up seven unearned runs. Though he’s not producing good strikeout numbers, it’s possible that poor defense behind him has hurt his overall numbers, which don’t accurately represent his production.

Harris represents another option to start with Wood on the injured list. This year, the southpaw has pitched 5 1/3 innings in one relief outing in the majors and has started seven games in Triple-A. Harris has a 7.92 ERA in the minors this year and a 7.11 ERA in his major league career. That said, he possesses more strikeout ability and likely more upside than Brooks.

With Wood on the injured list, the Athletics will likely use multiple pitchers to cover his innings. Especially considering that Oakland has lost three other starters in the past 10 days with injuries, the Athletics’ depth will be tested greatly until at least one pitcher returns healthy.


Photo Credit: © Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports


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