OAKLAND -- Drew Pomeranz had his worst outing of the year Monday, allowing eight runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Texas Rangers -- and then his night got worse. The A’s today placed the left-hander on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured right hand, which Pomeranz said he suffered when he punched a chair while making his way from the dugout to the A’s clubhouse after being taken out of the game.
Pomeranz said the fracture occurred on the lower pinkie area of his right (non-pitching) hand. He had a brace -- not a cast -- on the hand this afternoon, and said his impression from doctors of the severity of the fracture is: "I think it’s best-case." The fact that it’s not his pitching hand means Pomeranz will be able to keep throwing and keep his arm fresh while he recovers.
Still, Pomeranz and manager Bob Melvin said it’s not clear yet how long Pomeranz will be out. That leaves the A’s with some scrambling to do in the rotation. Pomeranz himself was already the stopgap when the A’s, already down two starters to Tommy John, needed to send Dan Straily down to Triple-A. Now Pomeranz is down, too.
The A’s called up reliever Evan Scribner to take Pomeranz’s roster spot, but they also announced today they acquired left-hander Brad Mills from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for cash considerations. Mills has 15 career major-league appearances, 10 of them starts, for Toronto and the Los Angeles Angels from 2009-12. He’s 3-3 with a 7.76 ERA in those outings. Mills has spent all of this season at Triple-A Nashville, where he was 4-2 with a 1.56 ERA in 14 games, including 12 starts.
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Melvin said Mills is "a serious candidate" to fill Pomeranz’s rotation spot, which comes back around for the first time Saturday. Other in-house candidates include Straily, Josh Lindblom and Arnold Leon.
"It is disappointing," Melvin said of the situation. "It affects how we go about our business here. … (Pomeranz) feels horrible about it. I know it wasn’t intentional, it was out of frustration. But you’ve also go tot realize there’s ramifications when you do something like that, and he’s realizing that now."
Adding to the irony is that Monday was really Pomeranz’s first bad outing since the A’s plugged him into the rotation eight turns ago. Even with the ugly line from Monday, he is 5-4 with a 2.91 ERA in 17 games on the season, and he had allowed two or fewer runs in all but one of his seven starts prior to facing the Rangers.
"It’s frustrating," Pomeranz said. "I put a lot of pressure on myself, I guess, to help the team and let that kind of boil over a little bit. It’s 8-2 or whatever, not the way I want to leave a game, every. But obviously it’s more frustrating now, because I have to miss time because I made a stupid decision."
Pomeranz was scheduled to meet with doctors again today, after which the A’s might get a better idea how long he’ll miss. Pomeranz said that "since it’s my catching hand, it’ll be basically whenever I feel like I’m able to catch, I’ll be back out there. I can throw the whole time, and I’ll be ready."
* Josh Donaldson gets a night off as the A’s face Rangers ace Yu Darvish in game two of the series. Melvin said it’s a regular rest day for Donaldson, who has started all but two of the A’s first 70 games. Here’s the full A’s lineup against Darvish:
And the Rangers’ lineup against A’s left-hander Tommy Milone:
* It’s become one of those explanation-defying things that Melvin is nonetheless always asked to explain when the A’s face Darvish: why the Rangers right-hander has struggled more against Oakland than any other team in his major-league career. Darvish won his first-ever start against the A’s, and since then, in eight starts, he’s 0-7 with a 5.32 ERA.
"We’ve been fortunate, I know that," Melvin said. "He’s no day at the beach. But we’ve at certain times made him work a little bit, and we have some guys with some decent numbers off of him."
That includes Crisp (7-for-19 lifetime off Darvish with a home run), Jaso, (7-for-19, two homers), Moss (7-for-20, four homers) and Callaspo (7-for-23). The latter makes it easier for Melvin to rest Donaldson, who is 4-for-18 against Darvish with nine strikeouts.
* Milone is 4-0 with a 2.00 ERA in 45 innings over his last seven starts. He has pitched a lot better at home this season, with a 1.93 ERA in five starts at the Coliseum as opposed to a 4.73 mark in eight starts on the road. He’s faced the Rangers once this season back on April 22, allowing three runs on five hits in six innings and getting a no-decision.