One of the many remarkable things about the A’s rise to playoff contention is that they’ve done most of their winning without Brandon McCarthy, who’s been on the disabled list since mid-June with a shoulder injury.
Before going on the DL he was Oakland’s staff ace, throwing 78 innings with a 2.54 ERA and 52/19 K/BB ratio after doing similarly impressive work last year with a 3.32 ERA in 171 frames.
McCarthy missing big chunks of time with injuries is standard operating procedure, but he’s due back from the DL for tonight’s game against the White Sox. He reported no problems after a bullpen session earlier this week and tossed six shutout innings in his most recent rehab start.
Free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill reportedly has a one-year deal in place with the Athletics, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee. The exact terms have yet to be disclosed, and as the agreement is still pending a physical, it has not been formally announced by the club.
Cahill, 30, is coming off of a decent, albeit underwhelming year with the Padres and Royals. He kicked off the 2017 season with a 4-3 record in 11 starts for the Padres, then split his time between the rotation and bullpen after a midseason trade to the Royals. By the end of the year, the righty led the league with 16 wild pitches and had racked up a 4.93 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 84 innings for the two teams.
The A’s found themselves in desperate need of rotation depth this week after Jharel Cotton announced he’d miss the 2018 season to undergo Tommy John surgery. Right now, the team is considering some combination of Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden and Paul Blackburn for the back end of the rotation — a mix that seems unlikely to change in the last two weeks before Opening Day, as Lee points out that Cahill won’t be ready to shoulder a full workload by then. Instead, he’s expected to begin the year in the bullpen and work his way up to a starting role, where the A’s hope he’ll replicate the All-Star numbers he produced with them back in 2010.