The A's made a couple of roster moves before today's game, placing Brett Anderson on the DL with left elbow inflammation and a strained forearm and sending walk-prone reliever Edwar Ramirez to Sacramento. They brought back Landon Powell (with Suzuki's injury, he got a start today) and called up infielder Steve Tolleson, who will make his major league debut when he first plays for Oakland.
Tolleson, 26, is likely to be an unfamiliar name for most A's fans -- he was claimed this offseason off waivers from the Twins system, after spending 5 seasons in that farm system. The son of former big leaguer Wayne Tolleson has played primarily 2B and SS, though this year he's been logging a lot of time at 3B as well. He has a career .278/.370/.403 line in the minors, including a hot start in Sacramento this year at .333/.439/.500. He looks to be a decent utility infielder type, though his stay with the big-club may be short, as they will need to recall a starting pitcher when Anderson's turn next comes up -- unless they send Powell back to AAA when Suzuki's 100% healthy again.
Which brings us to the real question --- Zack earlier asked how the A's would replace Daric Barton (who is in tonight's lineup, but may miss some time if the injury acts up or hampers his effectiveness), but even more important is the question of how the A's will replace budding ace Brett Anderson. Hopefully Anderson's stay on the DL will be short, but forearm/elbow problems can be serious and the A's are sure to treat him with kid gloves. We'll know more after the MRI he is scheduled to undergo tomorrow - keep your fingers crossed.
The A's have quite a few options to replace him in the rotation, starting with two guys currently on the roster - Chad Gaudin and Tyson Ross. Both have logged a lot of time starting, but I don't think they'll turn to either nor do I think it'd be the right move. Ross has been so good out of the pen, and Gaudin has always been more effective as a reliever because of his righty/lefty split (3.96 FIP v. R, 5.13 v. L). If they do go with one of these two, they'd likely call up Henry Rodriguez to fill out the pen -- Rodriguez, who tops at between 98-100 MPH, is off to a great start in Sacramento (7.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 12 K).
More likely, the A's will turn to one of Trevor Cahill or Vin Mazzaro --- the latter has pitched effectively at Sacramento, in 4 starts he's 1-1 with a 1.86 ERA in 19.1 IP (8 BB, 21 Ks), but the former was decent all year in the majors as a 21 year-old rookie last season. He's only made two starts since returning from a non-throwing shoulder injury, but if the A's are convinced he's healthy, they'll probably turn to him. If not, they'll go with Mazzaro. Hopefully, in either case, it's only for a few starts, as they really cannot afford to lose Anderson for an extended period of time.