June 14, 2012

Brandon Moss

Brandon Moss has seven hits: five homers, two doubles


Brandon Moss loves him some Coors Field. The new Athletics first baseman hit his fourth homer of the series in Colorado and doubled twice Thursday as part of an 8-2 win over the Rockies.

Ross has now played in eight games, starting seven of them, since being called up by the A’s earlier this month. In 26 at-bats, he has seven hits: five homers and the two doubles today.

Prior to the callup, Moss had totaled 15 homers in 678 major league at-bats. He received his most extensive action with the Pirates in 2009 and hit .236 with seven homers in 385 at-bats. It took him nearly 2 1/2 years to earn another real opportunity, and the A’s might have waited longer to give him a chance if not for his June 15 opt out of his minor league deal. Now it looks like he’ll get a long look as the team’s starting first baseman.

Before wrapping this one up, I should also note here that Moss isn’t the only player doing nothing but collecting extra-base hits this year; Adrian Cardenas, an A’s castoff, has five hits in 32 at-bats for the Cubs so far, all of them doubles.

Charlie Morton undergoes Tommy John surgery

St Louis Cardinals v Pittsburgh Pirates

UPDATE: That was fast. According to Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Morton had Tommy John surgery today in Pensacola, Florida. He will miss the rest of the season and figures to be in rehab-mode for the early part of 2013.

11:51 PM: Charlie Morton has been on the disabled list since late May with an elbow injury and now the Pirates fear the right-hander may need season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that Morton was working his way back from the DL when he “tweaked” his elbow during a bullpen session Sunday, at which point the Pirates shut him down again and sent him to be examined by a specialist.

Morton was a pleasant surprise last season, starting 29 games with a 3.83 ERA for his first sustained big-league success at age 28, but this year the extreme ground-baller has been sidelined first by hip surgery and now by what may prove to be significant elbow problems.

Johan Santana is struggling since his no-hitter

Johan Santana

Did the 134 pitches take a toll? After getting lit up by the Yankees last week, Johan Santana gave up four runs in five-plus innings Thursday versus the Rays in his second start since his no-hitter.

The 134 pitches Santana threw in shutting down the Cardinals were a career high for the left-hander, who was handled carefully during the first two months in his first season back from shoulder surgery. Pitching on six days’ rest last Friday, he gave up six runs and four homers in five innings in a loss to the Yankees. Today, working on five days’ rest, he got a win, but he allowed four runs in five-plus innings.

It actually should have been worse. Santana loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth, giving up a single to Hideki Matsui, a double to Ben Zobrist and a walk to Matt Joyce. Jon Rauch took over and managed to strand all three runners by getting two strikeouts and then a groundout.

Santana threw just 51 of his 95 pitches for strikes in this one. He issued four walks, his second highest total of the season (he walked five in the no-hitter).

Santana’s ERA has jumped from 2.38 to 3.23 since the no-no and would be higher if not for Rauch’s effort. The Mets have to be hoping its an aberration, not a trend. Santana and R.A. Dickey have been an outstanding one-two punch so far, but Santana needs to return to May form to keep that up.