Drew Pomeranz had his roughest outing of the year Monday as a member of the A’s rotation, allowing eight runs and departing in the fourth inning of a 14-8 loss to the Texas Rangers. And then his night got worse.
The A’s on Tuesday placed Pomeranz on the 15-day disabled list because of a fractured right hand, which Pomeranz said he sustained when he punched a chair while going from the dugout to the clubhouse after being removed from the game.
Pomeranz said the fracture occurred on the lower little finger area of his right, non-pitching hand. While Pomeranz said he thinks the severity of the fracture is “best case,” neither he nor manager Bob Melvin could say how much time he is likely to miss.
The A’s, meanwhile, must fill the rotation spot of Pomeranz, himself a replacement measure when the A’s demoted starter Dan Straily to the Triple-A River Cats in early May.
“It is disappointing,” Melvin said. “It affects how we go about our business here.
“He feels horrible about it. I know it wasn’t intentional – it was out of frustration. But you’ve also got to realize there are ramifications when you do something like that, and he’s realizing that now.”
The A’s on Tuesday also announced they had acquired left-hander Brad Mills from Milwaukee for cash considerations, and Melvin said Mills, a 29-year-old with 15 career major-league appearances, is “a serious candidate” to replace Pomeranz in the rotation.
Ten of Mills’ major-league outings have been starts, for Toronto and the Los Angeles Angels from 2009 to 2012, and he’s 3-3 with a 7.76 ERA in his career. Mills has spent this season at Triple-A Nashville, where he was 4-2 with a 1.56 ERA in 14 games, including 12 starts.
Melvin said Tuesday he didn’t know much about Mills, “But I know (he’s) somebody our organization has liked for a while.”
Pomeranz’s rotation spot comes up Saturday against Boston. Other candidates include current minor leaguers Arnold Leon, Josh Lindblom and Straily, who began the year in the A’s rotation but was sent down to Sacramento on May 9.
Pomeranz made his first start for the A’s on May 7 against Seattle and pitched five scoreless innings, then he joined the rotation and impressed with a smooth transition from long reliever.
Monday was the left-hander’s first truly bad outing since he became a starter for the A’s; he had allowed two or fewer runs in six of seven starts before facing the Rangers.
“It’s frustrating,” said Pomeranz, who is 5-4 with a 2.91 ERA. “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, ever. But obviously it’s more frustrating now, because I have to miss time because I made a stupid decision.”
The fact it’s not his pitching hand means Pomeranz will be able to keep throwing and maintain his arm strength while the fracture heals. Ideally, he said, “Whenever I feel like I’m able to catch, I’ll be back out there.”
Melvin was asked whether the left-hander will definitely have a spot in the rotation when he is able to return, given the outburst.
“You’re always looking to have the best guys in the best spots for you,” he said. “Now, how long it takes to get him going when he gets back could be a factor. But he’s done an awfully nice job for us in the rotation.
“No one feels worse about this than he does.”
To fill Pomeranz’s roster spot, the A’s recalled reliever Evan Scribner from the River Cats. The right-hander was 2-1 with a 4.32 ERA and nine saves in 21 outings, all in relief. Scribner was on the A’s Opening Day roster and made two appearances before being optioned to Sacramento on April 7.