Athletics activate Kurt Suzuki, put Duchscherer back on DL
ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics put right-hander Justin Duchscherer back on the 15-day disabled list today, one day after his scheduled start was scratched because of recurring inflammation in his left hip.
The A's also optioned backup catcher Josh Donaldson to Triple-A Sacramento and reinstated catcher Kurt Suzuki from the DL after he missed 19 games because of a strain in his ribcage. The team went 7-12 in the absence of their RBI leader from last season.
Suzuki is a Baldwin High alum from Maui.
Right-hander Chad Gaudin, in his second stint with the A's and first as a full-time reliever, was designated for assignment after giving up eight earned runs, 12 hits and four homers in 4 1-3 innings during his previous two outings.
"Anytime this happens, it's a surprise," said Gaudin, who has pitched for six big league clubs and four in the last three seasons. "I sensed it last night. I thought they'd have more faith in me. I know I can pitch. Obviously, if you pitch good, you're going to stay. But the decision's been made and I can't change what's happened. All I can do is turn a negative into a positive."
In Friday's 12-3 loss to the Angels, Gaudin surrendered five earned runs and eight hits over 2 2-3 innings, including a two-run homer to Kendry Morales, as his ERA rose to 8.83. On Tuesday, Gaudin tied a career high by giving up three homers at Texas.
"It's hard to keep comfortable when you never know when you're going to pitch and you're throwing every four to six days. It's a little tough to get a rhythm. It's just a matter of getting into a routine so you can prepare and plan for then you're going to pitch."
The A's also selected the contract of left-hander Cedric Bowers and recalled right-hander Henry Rodriguez, one day after Rodriguez was optioned to Sacramento to make room on the roster for Duchscherer.
"Cedric's been throwing the ball real well down there, so we made a change in that direction," manager Bob Geren said. "He's a competitor, he throws strikes and he's had experience."
Duchscherer lasted just 3 1-3 innings in his last outing, giving up four runs in a 6-3 loss at Toronto. He missed last season after he underwent arthroscopic right elbow surgery on March 31 and later was treated for clinical depression.
Duchscherer is on the DL for the seventh time in his career, which began in 2001 with Texas. After Saturday night's game, he met with reporters and sounded inconsolable.
"If I have to have surgery, I'm done for the year," Duchscherer said. "That's obviously not an option I want to explore unless it's absolutely necessary. I don't want to do it. It's very mentally draining."
Duchscherer dismissed the idea that his mechanics have led to his hip problems.
"I've talked to both my pitching coaches, Curt Young and Ron Romanick, and they said I have some of the best mechanics they've ever seen," the right-hander said. "I never asked the question, 'If that's true, then why do I get hurt?' But I think more than anything, it's genetic. I mean, I have a little bit of a genetical issue with the size of the head of my femur.
"From what I was told by the doctor, over years and years of grinding and pounding, the cartilage gets worn away in the hips — which is something I can't really control," Duchscherer added. "It's very frustrating because I feel like I'm a really good pitcher, and I don't need to be a power pitcher to pitch at this level. But my body's not cooperating."