OAKLAND – The A's will place 14-game winner Bartolo Colon on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain after Colon felt discomfort throwing off flat ground on Friday, manager Bob Melvin said before Saturday's game.
Melvin said the A's made the decision after Colon arrived at O.co Coliseum on Saturday still feeling groin tightness. Left-hander Tommy Milone, who was optioned to the River Cats on Aug. 3, will be recalled and start today in Colon's place.
"Probably the prudent thing to do is not to push (Colon) too much here and give him these 15 days off, and see where we go from there," Melvin said.
Colon, 40, has been the A's best starter but struggled his last two outings, allowing a combined 10 runs in 6 2/3 innings. Prior to that, he had thrown at least six innings, giving up three or fewer runs, in 15 consecutive starts. Colon's velocity had also dipped recently but appeared to be higher in his last start against the Houston Astros.
Colon has thrown 154 1/3 innings and is 10 away from matching his 2011 total with the Yankees – his largest workload since 2005. Melvin was asked if the timing of the DL stint could be beneficial if it allows Colon to recover fully before the stretch run.
"Yeah, maybe," Melvin said. "He certainly doesn't want to (go on the DL). He wants to make every start that he can, and, based on the fact that he's had a great season for us and is a guy that we've leaned on pretty hard and has 14 wins at this point, it's not easy.
"You always want him to be able to pitch, but maybe with his age and so forth, a little break at this point in time might be good for him."
Brett Anderson, who was expected to pitch in relief in a rehab outing for the River Cats on Saturday night, instead started the game in Sacramento. Melvin indicated in recent weeks that Anderson, the A's Opening Day starter, could return sooner out of the bullpen, but said Saturday the A's are "keeping our options open."
"You never know how things go from here and after the Bartolo situation today, felt like (having Anderson start) was probably the right thing to do," Melvin said.
Milone made two starts for the River Cats after being sent down, allowing five runs – two earned – on 16 hits with 15 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings.
He said Saturday he "felt really comfortable" in the two outings and believes he addressed some of the command issues that led to his demotion.