Description: Veteran lefthander Barry Zito has signed a minor league deal with the Oakland A's, the team he started with back in 2000.
Insight: Zito won 15 games with the Giants as recently as 2012, but hasn't been a fantasy-worthy starter since leaving Oakland in 2006. His best season for fantasy owners was 2002 when he went 23-5 with a 2.75 ERA, 1.134 WHIP, 205 Ks and won the AL Cy Young award. The soon-to-be 37-year-old can be ignored.
Description: Oakland setup man,Tyler Clippard, signed to a one-year contract to avoid arbitration.
Insight: Clippard could rack up a few saves until Doolittle (shoulder) can return, probably in late April or early May. He had 32 saves in a closing role back in 2012 for the Nationals. Even as a setup man he'll have some fantasy value with a great WHIP and a career of more strikeouts than innings pitched (209 vs. 179).
Description: Newly acquired setup man,Tyler Clippard, could be the A's early season closer as Sean Doolittle is dealing with a slight tear in his rotator cuff, as well as inflammation and irritation in his throwing shoulder.
Insight: Clippard could rack up a few saves until Doolittle can return. He has 32 saves in a clsing role back in 2012 for the Nationals.
Description: The Chicago Cubs made perhaps the biggest free-agent signing of the offseason agreeing to a six-year, $155 million deal with Jon Lester according to FOX Sports Ken Rosenthal.
Insight: According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the Red Sox offered six-years, $135 million, so Lester went with the bigger contract. Perhaps Boston was hoping for a hometown discount because its unlikely the organization couldn't have offered him $155 million. Lester will be at the top of the Cubs rotation that includes Jake Arrieta and Jason Hammel.
Description: Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp left Tuesday night's AL Wild Card game with a right hamstring injury.
Insight: Crisp tweaked his hamstring on a swing in the top of the 11th. TBS reported it could possibly be cramps. Crisp tried to play center in the bottom of the inning but decided to take himself out. Whether it is a strain or just cramps, it doesn't matter since Oakland has been eliminated.
Description: Athletics starter Jon Lester allowed six runs over seven 1/3 innings, struck out five and walked two in the loss to the Royals in the American League Wild Card game on Tuesday.
Insight: Lester settled in after a rocky start that led to three Kansas City runs in the first three innings. Manager Bob Melvin likely stuck with Lester for too long as the Royals rallied in the eigth inning. Easy to second guess now. Lester was charged with three runs in the eighth, two of which scored after he exited. This was likely his last game for Oakland as Lester is a free agent this winter.
Description: Athletics closer Sean Doolittle allowed a run in the ninth to blow a save in the American League Wild Card game against the Royals on Tuesday.
Insight: Doolittle did all he could but was not able to prevent the Royals from scratching out a run to tie. Pinch-hitter Josh Willingham hit a bloop single to start the inning. Pinch runner Jarrod Dyson took second on a sacrifice bunt, stole third and then scored on a sacrifice fly. Doolittle stayed in the game to pitch a scoreless 10th.
Description: Adam Dunn admitted that despite the extra-inning loss in the American League Wild Card game to the Royals on Tuesday that his career is still likely over.
Insight: Dunn plans to retire after playing 14 seasons in the league. Dunn had the longest active streak without a playoff appearance, which stood at 2,001 career games. He did not make an appearance in the game Tuesday, but Dunn told MLB.com he does not hold any regrets. "Let's not make a bigger deal out of it. I love Bob [Melvin]. He's one of the best managers I've ever played for." The 34-year-old is 35th all-time with 462 home runs.
Description: Athletics 1B/OF Brandon Moss hit two home runs in Tuesday's Wild Card game loss to the Royals.
Insight: Moss hit a two-run homer to start the high-scoring affair in the top of the first and then gave the A's a 5-3 lead on a three-run shot to dead center in the sixth. Oakland tacked on two more runs to go up 7-3, but the Athletics were unable to hold the lead. Oakland led again 8-7 in the 12th but allowed two runs in the bottom of the inning as the Athletics officially capped off their season collapse.
Description: Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp is a career .125 batter (3-for-24) versus Royals right-hander James Shields.
Insight: Leadoff hitters are supposed to get on base to be effective and this one has a problem against Shields, so shouldn't be used in fantasy lineups. Crisp batted .248 this season with nine homers, 47 RBI, 68 runs and 19 steals.
Description: Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick is a lifetime .318 hitter with three home runs and a 1.182 OPS versus Royals right-hander James Shields.
Insight: Reddick managed just 363 at-bats this season, but did hit 12 homers with a respectable .763 OPS. He finished the regular season with three consecutive multi-hit games and should be a viable fantasy option in this favorable matchup.
Description: Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson told Comcast SportsNet California that his left knee feels more stable than it did a few days ago.
Insight: Donaldson did not run very much on Monday, but he is expected to be in the lineup on Tuesday against the Royals in the AL Wild Card game. His knee has been an issue for the second half of the season, but Donaldson has still been able to hit .280 over that time. His power, however, seems to have been effected as he has just nine homers since the break.
Description: Athletics shortstop Jed Lowrie had a two-run single in the season finale against the Rangers.
Insight: Lowrie provided some much needed insurance with his two RBI in the ninth inning to extend the Athletics lead to 4-0. Overall however, Lowrie had a down season compared to his numbers last year. He hit .249/.321/.355 with six home runs and 50 RBI this season.
Description: Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson went 3-for-4 with a home run in a loss to the Rangers on Saturday.
Insight: It was unclear whether Donaldson would even start as the third baseman banged both his knees on Friday. Donaldson did not look to good running the bases Saturday, but his production at the plate was not effected. He hit a solo bomb in the first and added two singles. Donaldson is batting .257 with 29 home runs and 98 RBI in 157 games this season.
Description: Athletics 1B/OF Brandon Moss is back in the starting lineup on Thursday against the Rangers.
Insight: Moss missed Wednesday's game with torn cartilage in his hip, which will require surgery. Moss, however, is going to try and play through it until the end of the season. Moss is batting fifth and playing left field on Thursday.
Description: Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson is a career 1-for-11 (.091) with four strikeouts against Angels starter Hector Santiago.
Insight: Donaldson's big home run total of the first half (20) has dissipated (8), but he's hitting for a higher average (.276) and a better OPS (.840) in the 61 games since the break. This is a poor matchup, however.
Description: Athletics starter Sonny Gray pitched five innings and allowed five runs, four earned, on eight hits as the Rangers defeated the Athletics, 7-2, on Wednesday.
Insight: If there was ever a time when Oakland needed a big start, it was Thursday. With the victory, Texas completed a sweep of the playoff hopeful Oakland Athletics. Since Aug. 1, Gray is a bismol 1-5 with a 4.42 ERA.
Description: Athletics starter Sonny Gray pitched a complete-game shutout against the Rangers Sunday, clinching the final wild card spot in the American League.
Insight: Gray carried the Athletics on Sunday. He gave up just six hits, struck out five and walked none in the second complete game of his career. Gray finishes 2014 at 14-10 with a 3.08 ERA. Gray should only get better in 2015.
Description: Oakland C/1B/OF Stephen Vogt is not in the lineup Thursday against Texas.
Insight: Vogt hasn't started in over two weeks due to a sprained left ankle. He did pinch-hit on Wednesday, but when he reached base, manager Bob Melvin lifted him for Billy Burns. There seems to be no timetable for Vogt's return.
Description: Athletics starting pitcher Scott Kazmir allowed one earned run in a complete game loss to the White Sox on Thursday.
Insight: Kazmir arguably had his best start since May. He threw 76 strikes out of 113 pitches, allowed four hits, struck out seven and walked one. Unfortunately, Kazmir allowed a solo home run to shortstop Marcus Semien for the only run of the game. Kazmir is 14-8 with a 3.32 ERA this season.
Description: Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp went 2-for-4 in the Oakland come-from-behind victory, 4-3, over the Astros on Saturday.
Insight: Crisp also stole two bases. Crisp is starting to heat up as the lead off hitter for Oakland, which is just what the Athletics need. Crisp is 7-for-21 in his last five games. The center fielder is batting .256 with nine home runs and 45 RBI this year.
Description: Athletics shortstop Jed Lowrie went 2-for-4 with the game-winning RBI in the bottom of the ninth to lift Oakland past Houston, 4-3.
Insight: Lowrie has had his struggles this season, but it must have felt good for him and the A's to overcome a two-run deficit in the ninth to comeback and win. Lowrie is batting .242 with 35 extra-base hits, 43 RBI and 54 runs.
Description: The Athletics are hoping center fielder Coco Crisp (neck) will return to the lineup by this weekend according to John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group.
Insight: Crisp received more injections into his neck on Tuesday. Fantasy owners might have to look elsewhere for center field production. Even if Crisp is healthy by the weekend, expect the Athletics to bring him back slowly.
Description: Oakland shortstop Jed Lowrie (fractured finger) has been activated from the disabled list
Insight: He's already admitted he isn't 100 percent, but after missing three weeks he's going to try to play. In 110 games, Lowrie is hitting .238 with five home runs, 42 RBI and 53 runs scored. It's probably best to avoid him for a while until we see how well he can swing a bat.
Description: Athletics starting pitcher Scott Kazmir gave up six runs, failing to get out of the second inning, on Sunday against the Angels.
Insight: Things just keep getting worse for Kazmir. In his last two starts, both to the Angels, Kazmir has allowed 13 runs in four and 1/3 innings. In three innings last week, he yielded 10 hits while it was four walks that doomed him in one and 1/3 innings on Sunday. Kazmir has still had an good season with a record of 14-7, 3.39 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. Fantasy owners just remember when his ERA was 2.38 in July.
Description: Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson was 2-for-4 on Sunday against the Angels.
Insight: It was a rough series for Oakland, who the Angels swept in four games. The offense went 29 consecutive innings without a run. The A's are 19-22 since the All-Star break and five game back of the Angels going into September. Donaldson, however, has been the one bright spot on offense, hitting 12-for-24 in his last seven games.
Description: Designated hitter/first baseman Adam Dunn has been traded to the Oakland A's.
Insight: Dunn is hitting .220/.340/.433 with 20 HR and54 RBI this year. The A's have been looking for offense almost since the instant they traded Yoenis Cespedes to Boston. We will have to see if Dunn is the answer.
Description: Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp is not in Saturday's starting lineup.
Insight: The oft-injured outfielder hurt his shoulder running into the wall Friday night and will head back to the bench. He's batting .254 with 9 HR, 45 RBI and 61 runs scored, but he's been in and out of the lineup in the second half due to inuries. Sam Fuld will leadoff and Craig Gentry will cover center field.
Description: Oakland shortstop Jed Lowrie (fractured finger) will begin his minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento on Friday.
Insight: Lowrie is expected to play in Triple-A over the weekend and if all goes well, rejoin the big league club on Tuesday when rosters expand. In 110 games, Lowrie is hitting .238 with five home runs and 42 RBI.
Description: Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson is just 1-for-11 against Angels starter Jered Weaver.
Insight: Donaldson homered and doubled in the series opener with the Angels Thursday night. His batting average is down almost 50 points from last season, but he's providing power (26 HR) for the A's and fantasy owners.
Description: Oakland closer Sean Doolittle (intercostal) has not resumed baseball activities.
Insight: Manager Bob Melvin did say his closer was feeling better. The club is hopeful that Doolittle, who went on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, will be ready to pitch again when the 15 days are over.
Description: Oakland second baseman Eric Sogard is a career .462 hitter (6-for-13) with three extra-base hits against Houston starter Brad Peacock.
Insight: Sogard doesn't provide much offense to the A's lineup, so it probably isn't worth rolling the dice with his guy on Wednesday. He is hitting .218 with one home run and 17 RBI this year in 90 games. If you need a spot start from a free agent second baseman, Sogard is your guy for Wednesday.
Description: Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson (knee) is back in the lineup for Monday after missing Sunday due to a sore knee.
Insight: He lobbied to get into the lineup Sunday, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, but had to wait another day. He's already set a career high in home runs and needs nine more RBI to set another career mark.
Description: Oakland closer Sean Doolittle has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right intercostal muscle, according to the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser. The strain is not believed to be serious.
Insight: Manager Bob Melvin said he'll use matchups to determine who gets save chances while Doolittle is out, with Luke Gregerson, Ryan Cook and Eric O'Flaherty in the mix. Doolittle has a 2.28 ERA, a 0.70 WHIP, 80 Ks and just five walks in 55 1/3 innings. His 16 K/BB ranks third all time among pitchers with at least 50 innings.
Description: Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp has batted .161 with one homer, 11 RBI, 10 runs, zero steals and a .526 OPS since the All-Star break.
Insight: While he's gone 6-for-17 with three doubles, a triple, a homer and six RBI in his last four games, including 2-for-4 with a double and a solo shot Friday night, he's 5-for-34 (.147) against Angels starter C.J. Wilson. That combined with his slump since the All-Star break makes him an undesirable option Saturday.
Description: Athletics starter Sonny Gray won his first start since July 26 Friday against the Angels. He went 8 1/3 innings and allowed three runs on six hits.
Insight: Gray went 0-4 with a 4.94 ERA in his first four starts of August after sweeping through July with a 5-0 record and a 1.03 ERA in five starts. The right-hander is up to 171 innings this season, but wearing down shouldn't be a concern. He threw 152 innings in the minors in 2012 and 182 1/3 innings combined between the minors and majors last year.
Description: Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick is not in the lineup Friday against the Angels.
Insight: With lefty Hector Santiago starting for Los Angeles, Reddick will take a seat. He's gone 29-for-96 (.302) with eight doubles, a triple, five homers, 13 RBI and just six strikeouts since he returned from the disabled list on July 22.
Description: Oakland C/1B/OF Stephen Vogt is not in the lineup Friday against the Angels.
Insight: Left-hander Hector Santiago is starting against them, so the A's have Jonny Gomes, Nate Freiman, Sam Fuld and Craig Gentry starting in place of John Jaso, Brandon Moss, Josh Reddick and Vogt. Vogt has gone 14-for-40 (.350) with a double, three homers and eight RBI over his last 11 games and is hitting .322 with an .852 OPS on the year.
Description: Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson is out of the lineup Wednesday, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Insight: It's his first day out of the lineup since July 3. He's gone 2-for-18 (.111) with nine strikeouts in his last five games, so he could use the rest. The A's want him at full strength for this weekend's crucial series against the Angels.
Description: Athletics catcher Derek Norris is not in the lineup Wednesday due to a back injury, according to Joe Stiglich of csnbayarea.com.
Insight: The Athletics start three players with catching experience -- Norris, John Jaso, Stephen Vogt -- every day, so they can afford to sit Norris. The back injury isn't affecting him while catching, just while running the bases.
Description: Oakland C/1B/OF Stephen Vogt has gone 11-for-30 with three homers and eight RBI over his last eight games.
Insight: Vogt was 0-for-21 from July 29 to Aug. 6, but he's bounced back nicely. He went 1-for-4 with a homer and two RBI Saturday against the Braves and is hitting .323 with eight dingers and 31 RBI in 198 at-bats.
Description: The Cubs have called up Dan Straily to start Saturday against the Mets.
Insight: Chicago picked up Straily from Oakland in the trade that sent Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Athletics. He led the minors in strikeouts two years ago but had a 4.93 ERA and a 2.11 HR/9 in 38 1/3 innings with the A's this season. The Cubs hope he'll mimic the turnaround of Jake Arrieta, another former prospect who was picked up on the cheap and has turned into a dominant starter this year.
Description: Oakland C/1B/OF Stephen Vogt is out of the lineup Friday against the Braves
Insight: The game is in Atlanta so the A's can't use a DH and left-hander Alex Wood is on the mound so Oakland has a righty-heavy lineup. Jonny Gomes is starting in left field and Nate Freiman is at first base. Vogt has gone 10-for-26 with two homers, six RBI and six runs in his last seven games after going 0-for-21 from July 29 to Aug. 6.
Description: Athletics 1B/OF Brandon Moss is out of the lineup Friday in the series opener versus Atlanta.
Insight: Atlanta is starting left-hander Alex Wood so the left-handed hitter Moss will get a night off. He's actually been good against lefties this season, hitting .282 with four homers and an .818 OPS in 78 at-bats. Nate Freiman will start at first with Jonny Gomes in left field.
Description: Oakland shortstop Jed Lowrie (fractured finger) played Wednesday, but is expected to go on the disabled list.
Insight: Lowrie (.238, 5 HR, 42 RBI) tried, but the broken finger effected his hitting and throwing. Lowrie has not been able to reproduce last season's solid numbers (.290, 15 HR, 75 RBI, 80 runs). The A's are going to call up Andy Parrino.
Description: Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp is just 3-for-21 (.143) against Royals right-hander James Shields.
Insight: As is frequently the case with Crisp, keeping on the field and healthy is a problem. When playing he's been reasonably productive with a .260 batting average, 7 HR, 36 RBI, 54 runs and 16 steals over 89 games. This matchup should be avoided.
Description: Athletics 1B/OF Brandon Moss is out of the lineup Wednesday against the Royals.
Insight: Kansas City is starting left-hander Jason Vargas so Moss will get a night off. He's actually been good against lefties this season, hitting .282 with four homers in 78 at-bats, but manager Bob Melvin is going with Sam Fuld in left field, Nate Freiman at first base and lefty-killer Jonny Gomes at DH.
Description: Oakland C/1B/OF Stephen Vogt is out of the lineup Wednesday against the Royals.
Insight: Left-hander Jason Vargas is throwing for Kansas City, so Vogt will get a night off. He's hitting .316 with eight doubles, seven homers, 29 RBI and an .838 OPS in 190 at-bats this season but just .219 with a homer and a .680 OPS against southpaws.
Description: Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick has gone 25-for-76 (.329) with seven doubles, four homers, 10 RBI and just four strikeouts since he returned from the disabled list.
Insight: Reddick has rediscovered his stroke from the first half of 2012 after struggling from the 2012 All-Star break right up until this June. Whatever he worked on while he was on the DL with a knee injury has yielded excellent results.
Description: Athletics 1B/OF Brandon Moss went 4-for-5 with a double and two RBI Tuesday at Kansas City.
Insight: Moss had been slumping, going 6-for-52 (.115) with 20 Ks in 14 games from July 25 to Aug. 10 before going 5-for-7 with four RBI the last two games. He's still in search of his first homer since July 24.
Description: Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson went 3-for-4 with two homers, four RBI and three runs Tuesday at Kansas City.
Insight: Donaldson went 16-for-111 (.144) with two home runs in 28 games from June 7 to July 9, but he's rebounded to go 32-for-101 (.317) with seven doubles, six homers and 21 RBI in 28 games since then.
Description: Oakland shortstop Jed Lowrie (finger) is in the lineup Friday, according to John Hickey of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Insight: Lowrie was out of the starting lineup the last three games due to a bruised finger. His .290 average, 15 homers and 75 RBI last season made him a strong option at shortstop for fantasy owners, but he's followed up that campaign with a .245 average, five homers and 42 RBI.
Description: Oakland shortstop Jed Lowrie (finger) is not in the lineup for the second straight game Wednesday.
Insight: Lowrie is dealing with a bruised finger. His .290 average, 15 homers and 75 RBI last season made him a strong option at shortstop for fantasy owners, but he's followed up that campaign with a .245 average, five homers and 42 RBI. Eric Sogard is starting at shortstop again.
Description: Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp is in the lineup Tuesday as the DH.
Insight: Crisp pinch hit Monday, but he hasn't started since July 26 due to a nagging neck injury. He's expected to be back in center field Wednesday, according to John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group, so he must be feeling better.
Description: Oakland shortstop Jed Lowrie is out of the lineup Tuesday due to a bruised finger, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Insight: Lowrie's .290 average, 15 homers and 75 RBI last season made him a strong option at shortstop for fantasy owners, but he's followed up that campaign with a .245 average, five homers and 42 RBI.
Description: Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp (.274, 7 HR, 32 RBI, 51 runs) is out again Monday. He hasn't played since July 26.
Insight: Crisp hurt his neck a couple months ago when he crashed into the outfield wall and the injury didn't go away even though the team gave him frequent days off. Crisp hit in the batting cage prior to Sunday's game and Bob Melvin was encouraged by the session.
Description: Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick blasted a pair of home runs Sunday but has an extremely unfavorable matchup Monday.
Insight: Reddick is hitless in 12 at-bats versus Rays hurler Alex Cobb with five strikeous. Still, he's batting .390 with four homers and seven RBI in the 12 games since his return from the disabled list.
Description: Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp (neck) has still not returned from his next problem.
Insight: Crisp hurt his neck a couple months ago when he crashed into the outfield wall and the injury hasn't gone away even though he's tries to play through it. According to Sussan Slusser there are no plans for him to go on the disabled list at this time.
Description: Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson is just 1-for-18 against Royals starter Jason Vargas.
Insight: Donaldson batting average isn't very good, but he's still hitting for power and is just one home run shy of last season's total of 24 homers. However, with his protection, Yoenis Cespedes now playing in Boston, we will see if opposing pitchers keep throwing Donaldson strikes.
Description: According to John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group, the Athletics have moved Jesse Chavez to the bullpen.
Insight: Jason Hammel is 0-4 with a 9.53 ERA in four starts since he joined the A's in a trade from the Cubs, but Chavez was chosen to move to the bullpen instead. Chavez never threw more than 67 1/3 innings in his career prior to 2014 and he appeared to be wearing down. He lasted less than six innings in five of his last six starts and had a 5.51 ERA in that span.
Description: The Athletics deadline-day trade for Jon Lester could cost Jesse Chavez his spot in the rotation.
Insight: Jason Hammel is 0-4 with a 9.53 ERA in four starts since he joined the A's in a trade from the Cubs, but Chavez is still expected to move to the bullpen instead. Chavez never threw more than 67 1/3 innings in his career prior to 2014 and he appears to be wearing down. He's lasted less than six innings in five of his last six starts and had a 5.51 ERA in that span.
Description: In a blockbuster move, the Red Sox have traded left-hander Jon Lester and outfielder Jonny Gomes to the Oakland Athletics for Yoenis Cespedes.
Insight: Lester (10-7, 2.52 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 149 Ks) has picked a great time to have his best season, as the 30-year-old will be a free agent at season's end. He'll join one of the top teams in baseball and get to pitch in one of the best pitcher's parks. He's made it known he's willing to rejoin the Red Sox, but they'll have to offer more than the $70 million over four years they proposed during spring training. Either Jason Hammel or Jesse Chavez will lose their spot in Oakland's rotation as a result of the trade.
Description: Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson accounted for Oakland's only run against Houston's Dallas Keuchel Wednesday with his 23rd home run of the season.
Insight: Donaldson has looked very good lately, hitting .305 with four home runs, 13 RBI and seven Ks in his last 15 games. The third baseman hit .144 with two home runs, 13 RBI and 24 Ks in 28 games from Jun 7 to July 9 and has been trying to get his batting average back up.
Description: Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp (neck) will be held out until at least Friday, according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Insight: Crisp hurt his neck a couple months ago when he crashed into the outfield wall and the injury hasn't gone away even though the A's have given him frequent days off since then. A's manager Bob Melvin said Crisp's MRI showed "no changes."
Description: Oakland C/1B/OF Stephen Vogt had a double and a solo homer Monday at Houston.
Insight: Vogt has been an everyday player throughout this month, first due to Josh Reddick's knee injury and now because he's just too hot to take out. He's hit .361 with five home runs, 23 RBI and a .931 OPS in 147 at-bats and is a must-add due to his catcher eligibility.
Description: The Athletics have called up low-level outfield prospect Billy Burns from Double-A.
Insight: Coco Crisp hasn't been able to shake a neck injury and Craig Gentry went on the DL Monday with a broken hand. Burns has hit .250 with one home run, a .662 OPS and 51 steals in 91 games for Double-A Midland this season.
Description: Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp has returned to Oakland to have his neck examined, according to Joe Stiglich of csnbayarea.com.
Insight: Crisp hurt his neck a couple months ago when he crashed into the outfield wall and the injury hasn't gone away even though the A's have given him frequent days off since then. He missed two of the past three games and won't be with the team for the three-game series that begins Monday at Houston.
Description: Athletics left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (thumb) is back in the lineup Friday.
Insight: Cespedes sprained his thumb Wednesday after hitting two homers and driving in five runs earlier in the game. Fantasy owners should consider it a stroke of luck that he had to miss just one game.
Description: Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick (knee) has been activated from the 15-day disabled list.
Insight: Reddick spent three weeks on the disabled list in June after hyperextending his right knee and he lasted just four games before straining the same knee on June 28. He's batting just .229 with four homers and 24 RBI.
Description: Athletics left-hander Tommy Milone has asked the team to trade him, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
Insight: Milone went 6-0 with a 2.62 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP over his last 11 starts but was sent down when Oakland traded for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. The A's are not eager to move him because he may be needed as a replacement later this season. Milone has an ERA of 2.96 at O.co Coliseum and 4.52 on the road in his career, so a trade could hurt his fantasy value depending on where he lands.
Description: Oakland C/1B/OF Stephen Vogt has hit .364 with four homers, 18 RBI and a .931 OPS in 118 at-bats this season. He went 3-for-4 with a double, one RBI and a walk Sunday against the Orioles.
Insight: Vogt, who has catcher eligibility, has been in the starting lineup every day in right field or at first base due to Josh Reddick's knee injury. The A's may find a way to keep his bat in the lineup even when Reddick returns.
Description: Athletics left fielder Yoenis Cespedes has gone 3-for-45 (.067) in July.
Insight: Cespedes entered the month with a .273 average, 38 extra-base hits (14 HR), 55 RBI and an .823 OPS, but after going 0-for-4 Sunday he'll go into the All-Star break hitting .246 with a .741 OPS.
Description: Athletics starter Sonny Gray has gone 3-0 with a 0.83 ERA in July.
Insight: Gray allowed one unearned run on six hits over 7 2/3 innings Sunday at Seattle to win his 10th game of the season. The right-hander has bounced back nicely from recording a 5.50 ERA over six starts from May 27 to June 28.
Description: The Athletics have activated Drew Pomeranz from the disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A.
Insight: Pomeranz' temper cost him a spot in the rotation. He broke his right hand when he punched a chair on June 16 after allowing seven earned runs in 3 2/3 innings, and Oakland acquired Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel while Pomeranz was on the DL. The A's may look to trade him or Tommy Milone for a second baseman.
Description: Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson slammed his 20th home run of the season Thursday afternoon.
Insight: Donaldson has struggled after a good start, but the home runs have never slowed. He'll easily top last year's total of 24, but he'll be hard-pressed to match last season's .301 batting average or .883 OPS.
Description: Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick (knee) could begin a rehab assignment Friday, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Insight: Reddick spent three weeks on the disabled list in June after hyperextending his right knee and he lasted just four games before straining the same knee on June 28. He'll be back following the All-Star break but shouldn't be on any fantasy teams.
Description: Athletics starter Tommy Milone shut out the Blue Jays over six innings Friday and his reward is a trip to Triple-A Sacramento.
Insight: He's a casualty of the trade with the Cubs which brought Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland. Milone was 0-3 with a 5.86 ERA after his first five starts, but he's gone 6-3 with a 2.62 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP over his last 11. He'll be back.
Description: Athletics manager Bob Melvin said first baseman Brandon Moss' sprained left ankle may only keep him out for a game or two, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Insight: Moss never made it out of the batter's box after grounding into an inning-ending double play in the eighth inning Friday. Melvin said Moss lobbied to stay in Friday's game so the injury may not be serious, but his ankle also could swell up overnight and keep him out longer than expected.
Description: Athletics starter Tommy Milone shut out the Blue Jays over six innings Friday. He allowed four hits, walked one and struck out six in a no decision.
Insight: Milone was 0-3 with a 5.86 ERA after his first five starts, but he's gone 6-3 with a 2.62 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP over his last 11. The left-hander has a 2.74 ERA at O.co Coliseum and a 4.40 ERA on the road in 2014 (2.94 career ERA at O.co Coliseum, 4.52 ERA on the road).
Description: Athletics first baseman Brandon Moss has been diagnosed with a sprained left ankle, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Insight: Moss never made it out of the batter's box after grounding into an inning-ending double play in the eighth inning Friday. He's been one of the top first basemen in fantasy this season. If Moss has to go on the disabled list, it would open up more at-bats for Nate Freiman at first base and Craig Gentry in right field.
Description: Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson is dealing with a stiff back, but is in Friday's lineup versus Toronto.
Insight: Donaldson sat out Wednesday and Thursday due to a stiff back. He was batting .280 with 17 homers, 50 RBI, 51 runs and a .925 OPS going into June 7, but he's declined to .245 with a .784 OPS during his brutal 13-for-88 (.148) slump. Now we know the reason for the drop in production.
Description: Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson is dealing with a stiff back.
Insight: Donaldson sat out Wednesday and Thursday due to a stiff back. He was batting .280 with 17 homers, 50 RBI, 51 runs and a .925 OPS going into June 7, but he's declined to .245 with a .784 OPS during his brutal 13-for-88 (.148) slump. Now we know the reason for the drop in production.
Description: Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson is dealing with a stiff back.
Insight: Donaldson also sat out Wednesday and apparently it wasn't just to get the struggling third baseman a day off. He was batting .280 with 17 homers, 50 RBI, 51 runs and a .925 OPS going into June 7, but he's declined to .245 with a .784 OPS during his brutal 13-for-88 (.148) slump.
Description: Oakland center fielder Coco Crisp is not in the lineup Thursday against Toronto.
Insight: Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey has limited Crisp to two hits in 22 career at-bats (.091), so the A's will give him a day off Thursday. He has batted .367 with four homers, 15 RBI, 24 runs, 15 walks and four steals in his last 27 games (22 starts).
Description: Oakland center fielder Coco Crisp has batted .367 with four homers, 15 RBI, 24 runs, 15 walks and four steals in his last 27 games (22 starts), but he's struggled against Toronto starter R.A. Dickey.
Insight: Dickey has limited Crisp to two hits in 22 career at-bats (.091). While he's been red hot, he should be avoided if possible on Thursday.
Description: Oakland center fielder Coco Crisp batted .346 with three homers, 13 RBI and a .969 OPS in June and he's batting .292 with seven home runs, 29 RBI, 46 runs, 13 steals and an .840 OPS following Wednesday's game.
Insight: Crisp went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and two runs Wednesday at Detroit.
Description: Athletics left fielder Yoenis Cespedes is in the lineup Wednesday against the Tigers.
Insight: Cespedes missed Tuesday's game with a hamstring injury. He has 38 extra-base hits (14 HR) in 337 plate appearances this season (11.3 XBH%), a dramatic improvement over last season, when he had 51 in 574 (8.9 XBH%).
Description: Oakland OF/C Stephen Vogt raised his average to .343 with three hits Monday at Detroit.
Insight: Vogt was in the everyday lineup often in June due to Josh Reddick's injury. Reddick went back on the disabled list Sunday and Kyle Blanks is also on it, so Vogt should continue to start. He has catcher eligibility and could be a good option in AL-only or two-catcher leagues.
Description: The Athletics have announced that Scott Kazmir is fine, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Insight: Kazmir appeared to grab at his right hip after throwing a pitch during the sixth inning Monday night. He stayed in for one more pitch but manager Bob Melvin removed him after that. He was at 99 pitches, so he was nearing his end anyway.
Description: Athletics starter Scott Kazmir left Monday's game with an apparent injury, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Insight: Kazmir appeared to grab at his right hip after throwing a pitch. He stayed in for one more pitch but manager Bob Melvin removed him after that. He was at 99 pitches, so he was nearing his end anyway.
Description: A's catcher Derek Norris (lower back tightness) is not in Monday's lineup.
Insight: Norris apparently did take a few swings and didn't reinjury himself, but he's not in the starting lineup. He has been a pleasant surprise this season, batting .304 with eight homers, 35 RBI and a .915 OPS.
Description: Athletics lefty Tommy Milone won his sixth straight decision Sunday at Miami.
Insight: Milone was 0-3 with a 5.86 ERA on May 3; he's now 6-3 with a 3.79 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. His fantasy value is limited to AL-only and 12-team mixed leagues because he has just 55 Ks in 90 1/3 innings.
Description: Oakland catcher Derek Norris left Sunday's game after taking yet another backswing to the head, according to Joe Stiglich of csnbayarea.com.
Insight: Norris has been hit in the head by a backswing several times this season and also took a foul tip off his forearm Friday. Manager Bob Melvin said Norris doesn't have signs of a concussion but is going to the hospital for more tests.
Description: Oakland right-hander Jesse Chavez didn't allow a hit until the sixth inning Saturday against the Red Sox.
Insight: An unknown at the start of the year, Chavez (7 IP, 3 H, 4 BB, 4 K's) has developed into one of the most reliable starting pitchers in the American League. A wild pitch by Luke Gregorson in the eighth inning allowed Boston to tie the score at one, denying Chavez what would have been his seventh victory of the season.
Description: Oakland C/DH John Jaso is out of the lineup Friday against he Red Sox.
Insight: Felix Doubront is starting for Boston and Jaso doesn't start against lefties. The 30-year-old has hit .272 with six homers, 23 RBI and an .807 OPS this season. Alberto Callaspo is starting as the DH.
Description: A's center fielder Coco Crisp will be given the day off Wednesday versus Texas. SOURCE: Athletics on Twitter
Insight: June has easily been Crisp's best month, as he's now hitting .354 with eight RBI since the start of the month. As is usually the case when Crisp sits, Craig Gentry (.278, 0 HR, 4 RBI) will take over in center field.
Description: Oakland catcher Derek Norris made his impact felt with five RBI Tuesday against the Rangers.
Insight: Norris (.312, 8 HR, 34 RBI) was supposed to get the night off but manager Bob Melvin flipped the script by inserting him as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the sixth. He's been very productive lately, going 9-for-19 with eight RBI in his last four contests.
Description: Oakland OF/C Stephen Vogt collected three hits in Tuesday's win over Texas.
Insight: Vogt, who is primarily a catcher, was making his fifth start in right field. He's done well since his promotion at the start of the month, hitting .359 over 39 at bats. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, he may be sent back to the minors next week when Josh Reddick returns from a knee injury.
Description: The Athletics have placed Drew Pomeranz on the disabled list with a broken right hand.
Insight: Pomeranz gave up eight runs (seven earned) on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings Monday against the Rangers and this adds injury to insult. The Athletics acquired Brad Mills from the Brewers for $1 (yes, a dollar) Tuesday and will add him to the rotation in place of Pomeranz. Mills was 4-2 with a 1.56 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP and 77 Ks in 75 innings with Triple-A Nashville.
Description: Oakland catcher Derek Norris says he's all right after getting hit by a foul tip Sunday against New York. SOURCE: Joe Stiglich, Comcast Sportsnet California
Insight: The ball struck his left hand but the injury shouldn't prevent Norris (.305, 7 HR, 29 RBI) from competing Monday against Texas. A whopping 23 of Norris' 29 runs batted in this season have come against left-handers.
Description: Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson is hitless in his last 29 at-bats.
Insight: Donaldson had a .309 average, 10 homers, 26 RBI, 26 runs and a 1.090 OPS in 25 games from May 9 to June 6, but he's fallen into a brutal slump. He hasn't even reached base since June 6 and has watched his average and OPS drop 30 and 95 points, respectively, over his last seven games. Frustration started to boil over Saturday night and Donaldson was ejected prior to the top of the eighth inning for arguing balls and strikes.
Description: Athletics starter Scott Kazmir ran his record to 8-2 with six strong innings against the Yankees Saturday night.
Insight: Kazmir's career looked to be finished following an injury in 2011 and while he had a solid comeback season in 2013 (10-9, 4.04 ERA, 1.32 WHIP) he didn't exactly flash ace potential. In 2014, however, he's recorded a 2.05 ERA, a 0.98 WHIP and a 72/20 K/BB in 88 innings. He leads the American League with a .206 batting average against.
Description: Coco Crisp should be back in Oakland's lineup Wednesday against the Angels after sitting out yesterday, but he shouldn't be in fantasy lineups. He's just 9-for-54 (.167) with 10 Ks against Angels starter Jered Weaver.
Insight: Crisp has played every other day for the past week while dealing with neck issues. He didn't start Tuesday but entered as a pinch hitter and ended up with four plate appearances in a 14-inning game.
Description: A's center fielder Coco Crisp will get another day off Tuesday against the Angels. SOURCE: Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle
Insight: Crisp (.268, 4 HR, 17 RBI) has played every other day for the past week while dealing with neck issues. His injury has opened up more at bats for backup center fielder Craig Gentry (.259, 0 HR, 3 RBI).
Description: Not that the A's needed it, but Scott Kazmir was lights out Sunday versus the Orioles.
Insight: Oakland finished the game with 11 runs but that didn't stop Kazmir from having one of his best outings of the year (7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 7 K's, 2 BB). The 30-year-old left-hander owns a 2.20 ERA in 13 appearances.
Description: Oakland first baseman Brandon Moss swatted his second career grand slam Sunday against Baltimore.
Insight: Moss (.279, 16 HR, 53 RBI) has almost as many home runs as last year's MVPs Andrew McCutchen and Miguel Cabrera combined (18). The Athletics hold a five-game edge in the AL West with a little over a month until the All-Star break.
Description: A's center fielder Coco Crisp went 3-for-4 with a double, a solo homer and two runs Saturday at Baltimore.
Insight: Crisp likely won't come close to the career-high 22 home runs he hit last season, but he's still a good fantasy outfielder. He's hitting .274 with four home runs, 17 RBI, 30 runs, 11 steals and an .807 OPS.
Description: A's center fielder Coco Crisp won't play Friday against Baltimore. SOURCE: Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle
Insight: He wasn't in the lineup Wednesday either. Clearly Crisp, who suffered a neck injury earlier this season, isn't 100 percent. Craig Gentry (.252, 0 HR, 3 RBI) could be an interesting fantasy piece if Crisp's injury lingers.
Description: Athletics lefty Drew Pomeranz had the longest outing of his career Thursday against the Yankees.
Insight: Pomeranz threw seven innings and allowed two runs (one earned) with seven strikeouts and a walk. The 25-year-old left-hander has gone 4-2 with a 2.30 ERA in six games since he joined the rotation, though he didn't last longer than 5 1/3 innings in the first five.
Description: Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson homered for the sixth time in his last 10 games Wednesday against the Yankees.
Insight: Donaldson has been a top-10 overall fantasy player this season. He's first in the majors with 50 runs, tied for fourth with 16 homers and tied for fifth with 49 RBI. He's also hitting .284 with a .926 OPS.
Description: Brandon Moss sunk the Yankees by going deep twice Tuesday in a 5-2 A's victory.
Insight: His last long ball broke a 2-2 tie in the tenth inning. Moss is on pace for 42 HR this year, which would easily be a career-high. He's been the best player on an Oakland team that leads the AL West by five and a half games.
Description: Oakland first baseman Brandon Moss (calf) is questionable for Tuesday's game against the Yankees according to Joe Stiglich of CSN Bay Area.
Insight: After missing the last two games with a strained right calf, the A's are hoping Moss (.276/.366/.568, 13 HR, 46 RBI) will be ready to play tonight. Historically, however, he has struggled against Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda, managing only two hits and five strikeouts in 13 at bats.
Description: Athletics right fielder Josh Reddick is questionable for Tuesday's game against the New York Yankees after hyperextending his knee on Saturday.
Insight: Reddick shouldn't be in your fantasy lineup even if he's healthy as he's hitless in nine career at bats against today's starter, Hiroki Kuroda. It's possible Reddick (.214, 4 HR, 22 RBI) could require a stint on the disabled list.
Description: A's shortstop Jed Lowrie is not in Thursday's starting lineup. SOURCE: Jane Lee, MLB.com
Insight: He's been dealing with a strained neck/trap muscle. Lowrie has followed up a very productive 2013 season (.290, 15 HR, 75 RBI) with a mediocre year in 2014 (.241, 3 HR, 20 RBI). Nick Punto will make the start at shortstop but he's not worth owning in fantasy.
Description: A's starter Sonny Gray has yet to give up more than three earned runs in any of his 10 starts this season.
Insight: In fact, since coming up in July of 2013 Gray has given up two earned runs or fewer in 17 of 22 outings. His season-long numbers show a 5-1 record with a 1.99 ERA and he's become the ace of the A's staff.
Description: Athletics lefty Tommy Milone blanked Detroit in 6 2/3 innings Monday.
Insight: He's allowed three runs on 16 hits over 26 1/3 innings his last four starts (1.03 ERA). The Athletics' offense is crushing everyone and Milone is your best chance to get a pitcher attached to it with Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, Jesse Chavez and Drew Pomeranz all owned in more than 50 percent of leagues.
Description: Athletics catcher Derek Norris hit a grand slam Monday against Detroit.
Insight: Norris has been one of the best hitting catchers in baseball this year, batting .316 with five dingers, 24 RBI and a .929 OPS in 137 plate appearances. With a 17/20 K/BB, he has a good shot at keeping his average above .300.
Description: A's shortstop Jed Lowrie is not in Saturday's starting lineup.
Insight: Although he missed a couple of games with a neck strain, this appears to be a regularly scheduled day off. Lowrie's numbers have been mediocre this season (.251, 3 HR, 18 RBI) after a very productive 2013 (.290, 15 HR, 75 RBI, 80 runs).
Description: Athletics first baseman Brandon Moss homered for the 10th time this year Wednesday at Tampa Bay. Moss had Oakland's only hit but Oakland walked seven times and won 3-2.
Insight: Erik Bedard is the second lefty Moss has taken deep this season. He's gone 10-for-28 (.357) against southpaws this year after batting just .200 against them last season. Moss is among the RBI leaders with 40.
Description: Oakland center fielder Coco Crisp probably won't play Wednesday but if he does, he'll face a very tough matchup against Rays starter Erik Bedard.
Insight: Crisp exited last night's game with a sore neck. He's just 1-for-18 against Bedard in his career. Manager Bob Melvin should have plenty of incentive to sit Crisp (.257, 3 HR, 13 RBI) on Wednesday.
Description: Oakland left-hander Sean Doolittle earned his third save of the year with a scoreless inning Tuesday at Tampa Bay.
Insight: Doolittle also walked his first batter all season, but it didn't matter. He has a 3.27 ERA, a 0.82 WHIP and a 30/1 K/BB in 22 innings this season and appears to have taken over Oakland's closer role for now.
Description: For the third straight time since he joined the rotation, Athletics lefty Drew Pomeranz threw five scoreless innings and won Tuesday against the Rays.
Insight: The A's started Pomeranz out in the bullpen so they are watching his pitch count. His 89 pitches Tuesday were a season high. The 25-year-old former fifth-overall pick has a 0.94 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP in 28 2/3 innings this season and should be added in most leagues.
Description: Oakland has claimed left-hander Jeff Francis off waivers. SOURCE: John Hickey, Oakland Tribune
Insight: He'll give the Athletics some depth but not much else. Francis has been bouncing from team to team the past few seasons and hasn't enjoyed a successful fantasy campaign since 2007 when he won a career-high 17 games for the Rockies.
Description: Oakland left fielder Yoenis Cespedes plated five runs in Sunday's win over Cleveland.
Insight: That's a new career-high for the 28-year-old from Cuba. The surging A's have now won nine of ten and are leading the division by four games. Cespedes has gone 11-for-39 (.282) over that stretch.
Description: Athletics C/DH John Jaso has batted .313 with a 1.201 OPS in his career against Cleveland right-hander Justin Masterson.
Insight: Jaso has been a solid under-the-radar fantasy option this season, hitting .284 with four homers and an .852 OPS in 95 at-bats. He's gone 5-for-16 with two doubles and two home runs against Masterson.
Description: Oakland shortstop Jed Lowrie is just 2-for-14 (.143) in his career against Indians starter Justin Masterson.
Insight: For a 180-pound guy who plays in a huge ballpark, Lowrie hits far too many fly balls (50 percent FB rate). That's why he's only hitting .259 with a .279 BABIP even though he's lowered his K rate and raised his walk rate from last year. Avoid him Sunday against Masterson.
Description: Oakland 1B/OF Brandon Moss has hit .321 with five homers and 15 RBI in May.
Insight: That's after he batted .264 with four home runs, 21 RBI and an .806 OPS in the first month of the season. A decreased strikeout rate (18.9 percent, down from 27.7 percent in 2013) has allowed Moss to hit for a higher average this season.
Description: Oakland starter Scott Kazmir got himself tossed from Saturday's game in the second inning for arguing balls and strikes.
Insight: He may have had a point, as he walked three batters in 1 1/3 innings after issuing just nine free passes in his first 51 1/3 this season. Still, it's disappointing for fantasy owners relying on Kazmir's production on Saturday.
Description: Athletics right fielder Josh Reddick went 2-for-4 with two homers and six RBI Friday at Cleveland.
Insight: Reddick hit a grand slam in the second and a two-run shot in the seventh for Oakland. After starting out 4-for-41 (.098) with 15 Ks this season, Reddick has gone 26-for-86 (.302) with a double, three triples, four homers, 17 RBI and 15 Ks in his last 25 games.
Description: Athletics starter Sonny Gray tied a career high with nine strikeouts Friday at Cleveland.
Insight: Gray gave up a first-inning solo homer to Nick Swisher but finished six innings while allowing just two hits and the lone run. Gray has thrown a quality start in all nine appearances this season and is now 5-1 with a 2.10 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP.
Description: The A's have acquired OF/1B Kyle Blanks from the Padres. SOURCE: Dennis Lin, San Diego Union Tribune
Insight: Blanks joins a crowded outfield that already includes Craig Gentry, Coco Crisp, Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Reddick. First base won't be an option for him either with Brandon Moss getting most of the starts there. Blanks has only logged ten at bats at the major league level this season.
Description: Athletics lefty Drew Pomeranz threw five shutout innings for the second straight start Tuesday against the White Sox.
Insight: Pomeranz struck out eight and allowed just three hits and two walks. The 2010 No. 5 overall pick struggled with the Rockies but has found new life in Oakland. He has legitimate mixed league upside.
Description: Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp (neck) is doubtful for Monday's game against the Chicago White Sox.
Insight: Crisp strained his neck when he crashed into the outfield wall following a leaping catch Wednesday and coach Bob Melvin said he might miss the entire three-game series with the White Sox. He's batting .260 with three homers, 15 runs scored and seven steals.
Description: Oakland starter Scott Kazmir was unstoppable Sunday in a victory over Washington.
Insight: He held the Nats scoreless in seven innings of work. That lowers his ERA to 2.28, fourth-best in the American League. Though it probably won't last, the left-hander is on pace to win 21 games this season.
Description: Athletics lefty Drew Pomeranz will replace Dan Straily in the rotation. Straily (4.93 ERA) was demoted to Triple-A Friday.
Insight: Pomeranz is a former fifth-overall pick who struggled with the Rockies but has recorded a 1.45 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP in 18 2/3 innings this season with Oakland. He gave up just two hits and had a 5/0 K/BB in five innings in his first start of the season Wednesday. He's worth adding in most leagues.
Description: A's left-hander Drew Pomeranz dominated Wednesday in his first start of the 2014 season.
Insight: He threw five scoreless innings in the second game of a day/night doubleheader. It's unknown if Pomeranz (2-1, 1.45 ERA) will be joining the rotation on a permanent basis or if he'll be heading back to the bullpen after today's start.
Description: Athletics right fielder Josh Reddick is back in the lineup Wednesday after sitting out two games with a sprained left ankle. However, he went 0-for-13 with five Ks in his last five games and is 4-for-30 against Seattle starter Felix Hernandez.
Insight: Reddick batted .410 (16-for-39) from April 18-29 after starting out 4-for-41 (.098), but he's back in a slump. Hernandez will start Game 1 of Wednesday's doubleheader and Erasmo Ramirez will get the ball for Game 2. Reddick is also 0-for-8 against Ramirez and shouldn't be in any lineups Wednesday.
Description: According to Jane Lee of mlb.com, if the Athletics don't use left-hander Drew Pomeranz out of the bullpen Tuesday night, there's a good chance he'll start Game 2 of Wednesday's doubleheader.
Insight: The A's acquired Pomeranz, the 2010 fifth-overall pick, from Colorado as part of the Brett Anderson trade. The left-hander owns a career 2.97 ERA and 270 strikeouts in 242 2/3 innings in the minors but went 4-14 with a 5.20 ERA in 136 2/3 innings with the Rockies from 2011-13. He's allowed three earned runs in 13 2/3 innings (1.98 ERA) this year and could replace Tommy Milone in the rotation if he has a good start on Wednesday.
Description: Athletics left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (hamstring) will start Tuesday against the Mariners.
Insight: Cespedes has been in and out of the lineup since April 25 due to hamstring issues. He's hitting .257 with four homers, 18 RBI and a 20/14 K/BB (1.43) this season. He walked just 37 times and struck out 137 last year (3.7 K/BB).
Description: A's 1B Brandon Moss isn't starting Saturday's game against the Red Sox. SOURCE: Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle
Insight: Moss is hitting just .207 against left-handers over the last two seasons so sitting him today against Jon Lester (2-4, 3.10 ERA) makes a great deal of sense. Alberto Callaspo (.260, 3 HR, 15 RBI) will make his sixth start of the season at first base.
Description: A's left fielder Yoenis Cespedes will start Wednesday's game versus Texas. SOURCE: Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle
Insight: He'll serve as Oakland's designated hitter for the second night in a row. Cespedes (.247, 4 HR, 14 RBI) went 1-for-1 with two walks last night in his return from a hamstring injury but left the game early.
Description: Athletics left fielder Yoenis Cespedes returned to the lineup Tuesday, as expected. He started as the DH.
Insight: Cespedes missed the previous four games with a hamstring strain. He brought a .247 average, four homers and 14 RBI into Tuesday's game. He's already walked 10 times and struck out 15 after posting a 137/37 K/BB last year.
Description: A's third baseman Josh Donaldson is a career .400 hitter against Texas youngster Martin Perez with a homer and a 1.438 OPS.
Insight: It will be a classic matchup of two hot players. Donaldson is batting .325 with seven homers and 21 RBI over his last 20 games and the 23-year-old Perez is 4-0 this season with a league-leading 1.42 ERA and 0.921 WHIP.
Description: Athletics left fielder Yoenis Cespedes will miss another game on Monday, his fourth in a row.
Insight: He's dealing with a hamstring strain. The A's are hoping Cespedes (.238, 4 HR, 14 RBI) will be able to avoid the disabled list, but at this point it might be better if they did, so they could add a player to the roster.
Description: Athletics first baseman Brandon Moss is a career .333 hitter with four homers against Texas ace Yu Darvish.
Insight: Moss took Darvish deep just a week ago in a Darvish no-decision. He's batting .268 with four homers and 20 RBI. Moss has been playing in the outfield with Yoenis Cespedes sidelined by injury and is multi-position eligible (1B, OF) in most leagues.
Description: A source told Joe Stiglich of csnbayarea.com that Athletics starter A.J. Griffin will undergo Tommy John surgery sometime next week.
Insight: Griffin was shut down more than a month ago due to flexor tendinitis and still felt discomfort when he tried to throw recently. Griffin will become the second Oakland starter to undergo Tommy John surgery in 2014, joining Jarrod Parker.
Description: According to Jane Lee of mlb.com, Athletics manager Bob Melvin said Jim Johnson could re-enter the ninth-inning mix with Luke Gregorson and Sean Doolittle
Insight: Johnson has thrown 6 2/3 scoreless innings with six Ks and a 1.05 WHIP since he was removed from the closer role. Johnson is making $10 million this season so fantasy owners should expect him to get the role back if he continues to pitch well.
Description: Athletics closer Jim Johnson has been designated for assignment.
Insight: Johnson was making big dollars and is a rare Billy Beane bad decision. Johnson was 4-2 with a 6.92 ERA and 2.06 WHIP. Despite the horrible numbers it wasn't that long ago that he was a top closer and someone will likely take a chance on him.
Description: A's third baseman Josh Donaldson has begun to heat up and looks like the hitter who exploded onto the scene last season.
Insight: Donaldson is batting .308 with a .945 OPS over the past dozen games after batting .194 over his first eight games. He was one of last season's most improved players batting .301 with 24 HR, 93 RBI and 89 runs scored. After a slow beginning it appears he back to being a top fantasy 3B.
Description: A's third baseman Josh Donaldson logged three hits in Sunday's win over Houston.
Insight: Donaldson just keeps plugging away. He's tied for third among major league third basemen with 13 RBI and is fifth among AL third basemen in batting average (.272). He should be starting in all fantasy leagues.
Description: A's center fielder Coco Crisp has returned to the starting lineup. SOURCE: Jane Lee, MLB.com
Insight: It's his first start since Sunday. Hamstring and wrist issues have plagued Crisp (.292, 1 HR, 2 RBI) throughout April, though neither injury was serious enough to land him on the disabled list.
Description: Oakland center fielder Coco Crisp is probable for Friday's game against Houston while dealing with a tight left hamstring issue.
Insight: Crisp has been out of the starting lineup since Sunday, but did pinch hit on Tuesday. He's batting .292 with a home run six runs scored and four stolen bases and provides a viable fantasy option.
Description: A's center fielder Coco Crisp (hamstring) will sit out again Tuesday, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Insight: Crisp missed three straight games last week due to an inflamed wrist and he has now missed the first two of this week. Injuries are nothing new for the 34-year-old -- he hasn't played more than 136 games in a season since 2007 and never played more than 145.
Description: Athletics first baseman Brandon Moss is a career .462 hitter with four extra base hits and a 1.423 OPS versus Angels starter Garrett Richards.
Insight: Moss hasn't started hitting the long ball yet (1 HR) but is batting .295 with 11 RBI this season. He didn't start on Monday as the A's gave Daric Barton a start, but should be ready to go Tuesday.
Description: Athletics first baseman Brandon Moss is getting a breather Monday against the Angels.
Insight: Daric Barton is starting at first with LHP Hector Santiago on the mound for Los Angeles. Moss has an eight-game hitting streak and is batting .311 with one homer and 11 RBI in 45 at-bats this season.
Description: A's center fielder Coco Crisp (hamstring) will not start Monday, according to John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group.
Insight: Crisp missed three straight games last week due to an inflamed wrist and he's out of the lineup again to start this week off. Injuries are nothing new for the 34-year-old -- he hasn't played more than 136 games in a season since 2007 and never played more than 145.
Description: Athletics lefty reliever Sean Doolittle picked up a save Sunday against the Mariners.
Insight: Oakland went to Luke Gregerson for a two-out save Saturday after using Doolittle to set up, and on Sunday manager Bob Melvin reversed it and used Doolittle in the ninth because the Mariners had lefties Kyle Seager, Logan Morrison, Dustin Ackley and Michael Saunders due up. Ryan Cook may also get a save chance here or there as part of Oakland's committee, which replaced the ineffective Jim Johnson.
Description: Oakland left fielder Yoenis Cespedes blasted a two-run home run Sunday at Seattle.
Insight: Cespedes took a step back last year, going from a .292 average and an .861 OPS in 2012 to a .240 average and a .736 OPS in 2013. Through 12 games in 2014, he's batting .234 but has two home runs and nine RBI.
Description: Athletics starter Scott Kazmir left Sunday's start after six innings due to an apparent arm injury.
Insight: Kazmir struck out nine over six scoreless innings but was spotted in the dugout talking to manager Bob Melvin and the team trainer while holding his left forearm during the seventh inning. A scout told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that Kazmir's velocity dropped in his last inning and he was wiggling his fingers a lot after one pitch.
Description: Athletics right fielder Josh Reddick is out of the lineup again Friday.
Insight: Jane Lee of mlb.com reported earlier Friday that Reddick could be demoted following the activation of Craig Gentry (back) from the DL, but Reddick was spotted taking batting practice and is still on the roster. After hitting .226 last year, Reddick is off to a 3-for-29 start with 13 Ks. His 32-homer 2012 season seems like it was ages ago.
Description: Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson is a career .111 hitter (2-for-18) with eight strikeouts against Seattle ace Felix Hernandez.
Insight: Donaldson has not started out the season like last year, batting just .220 through the first nine games. Last season he was a huge fantasy surprise batting .314 in April, .330 in May and .303 in June before cooling off a bit. This unfavorable matchup isn't going to help.
Description: Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson went 2-for-22 over his first five games this season but he's 7-for-19 with three doubles, a homer, five RBI and five runs over his last four.
Insight: Donaldson hit his first homer of the season Thursday at Minnesota. However, he also struck out two times and has a 13/1 K/BB in 41 at-bats. Donaldson's K/BB in 2013 was 110/76 and he batted .301 with 24 HRs and 93 RBI.
Description: Athletics right fielder Josh Reddick is out of the lineup Thursday.
Insight: Reddick is batting just .103 this spring with a league-leading or is that league worst 13 strikeouts. A day off may be what he needs. Brandon Moss will play in right field and Daric Barton at 1B.
Description: Athletics closer Jim Johnson had another rocky outing Wednesday afternoon, allowing two hits, two walks and two earned runs in 1/3 of an inning.
Insight: The Athletics had a 4-2 lead going into the ninth, but Johnson coughed it up. The only reason he didn't get a blown save is because the A's removed him when it was still 4-3, though the runners on base still belonged to him. He has walked six batters and allowed nine hits and seven earned runs in 3 1/3 innings this season. Luke Gregerson is likely next in line for saves.
Description: Athletics starter Jesse Chavez struck out nine and walked none over seven innings of one-run ball Wednesday afternoon at Minnesota.
Insight: The A's provided him with a four-run lead before he even threw a pitch and he was in line for the win but Jim Johnson had another ninth-inning meltdown. Chavez has picked up two no decisions this season but owns a 1.38 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP and a 13/2 K/BB in 13 innings. He had a 2.22 ERA and a 25/6 K/BB in 28 1/3 innings this spring.
Description: Oakland center fielder Coco Crisp is not in Monday afternoon's starting lineup.
Insight: Crisp has been dealing with a sore left wrist. He's getting on base with a 1.055 OPS so far after putting together a solid season in 2013, batting .261 with 22 HR, 66 RBI, 93 runs and 21 stolen bases.
Description: Athletics shortstop Jed Lowrie had two hits, including a solo homer, Saturday against King Felix and the Mariners.
Insight: Lowrie's homer broke up Hernandez' shutout in the ninth inning. The 29-year-old infielder hit a career-high .290 with 15 homers, 75 RBI, 80 runs and a .790 OPS last season. Lowrie never played more than 97 games in his first five years in the majors but played 154 last year.
Description: Athletics starter Scott Kazmir held his former team, the Cleveland Indians, scoreless over 7 1/3 three-hit innings Wednesday afternoon in his A's debut. He walked none and struck out five.
Insight: After sitting out all but 1 2/3 innings in 2011 and all of 2012, Kazmir revived his career with the Indians last season. He went 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA, a 1.32 WHIP and 162 Ks in 158 innings and had a 3.06 ERA in his final 103 innings.
Description: Oakland's Jesse Chavez was scheduled to start Wednesday afternoon against the Indians, but he has been pushed back to Thursday due to Tuesday's rainout. SOURCE: Jane Lee, mlb.com.
Insight: Tuesday's scheduled starter Scott Kazmir will pitch the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday, and the Athletics will call someone up to start the second game. Chavez had a 2.22 ERA and a 25/6 K/BB over 28 1/3 innings this spring to win a spot in Oakland's rotation.
Description: Athletics Opening Day starter Sonny Gray took a comebacker off his ankle Monday, but manager Bob Melvin said the young hurler is fine, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Insight: Gray struck out seven batters over six scoreless innings Monday against the Indians but took a no decision. He had a 2.67 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP and 67 Ks in 64 innings as a rookie last year.
Description: Athletics young right-hander Sonny Gray was solid on Opening Day, though he ended up with a no-decision.
Insight: Gray went six innings, yielding five hits and no runs while striking out seven. He inherited the start when A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker went down with injuries. A lot is on the 24-year-old's shoulders, but he has the talent to be a team ace. Hopefully the A's will back him with a few runs next time out.
Description: The Athletics will go with Sonny Gray on Opening Day, according to Jane Lee of mlb.com.
Insight: The Athletics really had no other choice but to throw Gray into that spot. They lost Jarrod Parker to Tommy John surgery and will start the year with A.J. Griffin on the DL as well. Gray had a 3.42 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 118 1/3 innings at Triple-A last season and then went 5-3 with a 2.67 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP and 67 Ks in 64 innings. The right-hander has a plus fastball, an excellent curveball and also gets a ton of grounders. He should easily outperform his ADP this season.
Description: Athletics starter Scott Kazmir (triceps) will throw a bullpen session this week and return to the rotation Saturday, according to John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group.
Insight: Kazmir was scratched from Monday's start with triceps tightness. The Athletics rotation has been hit hard by injuries in the past week with A.J. Griffin suffering an elbow injury and Jarrod Parker needing Tommy John surgery, so it's good to see that Kazmir's injury is minor.
Description: Athletics starter Scott Kazmir was scratched from Monday's start due to left triceps tightness, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Insight: It's been a bad few days for Oakland hurlers. The A's learned Monday that Jarrod Parker needs Tommy John surgery, A.J. Griffin is expected to start the season on the DL due to elbow issues and now Kazmir is dealing with an injury. The good news is that Athletics assistant GM David Forst said Kazmir's injury is minor and he may start Tuesday.
Description: Athletics starter Jarrod Parker will undergo Tommy John surgery next Tuesday and miss the entire season, according to Jane Lee of mlb.com.
Insight: Parker met with Dr. James Andrews Monday to figure out the cause of his forearm tightness, and evidently he has a torn ligament. It's his second time undergoing the surgery. Jesse Chavez and Tommy Milone will start the season in the rotation with Parker and A.J. Griffin (elbow) out.
Description: A.J. Griffin's elbow injury will keep him on the shelf for at least three weeks. SOURCE: Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle
Insight: He's been diagnosed with flexor tendinitis. All signs point to Griffin beginning the year on the DL. Tommy Milone (6-5, 3.83 ERA last season) will probably take Griffin's place in the starting rotation.
Description: Jesse Chavez and Tommy Milone are expected to begin the season in the Athletics rotation following injuries to Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin. SOURCE: Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle
Insight: Chavez has fired 12 2/3 scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts and two walks this spring. He has a career 5.48 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP in 234 2/3 major league innings but posted a 3.92 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP and 55 K in 57 1/3 frames with Oakland last season.
Description: Athletics starter A.J. Griffin will see a doctor concerning an elbow injury, according to A's beat writer Susan Slusser.
Insight: Griffin could end up missing the start of the season depending upon what the doctor sees. He's struggled this spring with a 10.38 ERA and 2.19 WHIP in 8.2 IP. The A's pitching staff is hurting with both Griffin and Jarrod Parker sidelined.
Description: Athletics starter Jarrod Parker has been dealing with tightness in his right forearm and will visit Dr. James Andrews, according to A's beat writer Susan Slusser.
Insight: It's going to be a crowded waiting room in Dr. Andrews' office on Monday. Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen are also scheduled for that day. Parker has one Tommy John surgery on his record, but hopefully this isn't that bad. He was 12-8 with a 3.97 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 2013.
Description: Oakland catcher Derek Norris will be out a few days longer to due a tightness in his back.
Insight: That's not good for a guy who has to squat for the next six months. Norris is expected to do the majority of the A's catching this season. He batted .246 with nine homers and 30 RBI in 264 at-bats last season.