DETROIT — The A's spent Monday playing roster roulette before the series opener against the Tigers, and it's clear that Oakland has at least a move or two left this week before the roster expands to 40 players on Sunday.
Right fielder Josh Reddick went on the disabled list with a bum right wrist, Daric Barton (who had been playing third base recently) was promoted from Triple-A Sacramento to play at first, middle reliever Pat Neshek was designated for assignment and middle reliever Even Scribner was recalled from the River Cats.
That list doesn't include left-handed starter Brett Anderson, who is likely to be added to the roster as a reliever Tuesday or Wednesday, or starter Bartolo Colon, who threw a bullpen session Monday and who the A's hope will be able to start Thursday's series finale.
Here's how it all breaks down:
``We're going to try and rehab it,'' manager Bob Melvin said of Reddick, who left the team with a .213 average, 10 homers and 46 RBIs. ``The first thing is to get him healthy, though.''
The A's don't believe at this point surgery is necessary, but it should like Reddick will be lost to the team for an extended period of time.
``It sucks to lose him,'' first baseman-turned right fielder Brandon Moss said. ``He had a tough year at the plate, but he saved a lot of games for us defensively.''
``I never expected to be called up the first time (for two weeks in May), and I definitely didn't expect it this time,'' Barton, the one-time starting first baseman for the A's, said. ``This year I've learned to turn the page real quick, have a better mind set. I'm here to help this team win, and whatever happens, happens.''
Moss was an outfielder before he became a first baseman, and he can hold his own there, but he doesn't pretend to have the skills of Reddick on defense.
``On defense, he definitely saved a lot of games for us,'' Moss said of Reddick. ``I first played in the outfield. I've got a pretty good arm. I'm not lost out there, but I'm not Josh Reddick.''
Having seen the right-hander throw that many pitches, the A's figured he'd need at least two days off, and that would leave the bullpen short against the Tigers, a team that can wear out a pitching staff better than any other.
The A's have 10 days to trade Neshek, release him or, assuming he clears waivers, send him to the minor leagues. If things go the way the A's expect, he could clear waivers and be pitching with Sacramento by the end of the week and back with Oakland after the rosters expand.
``It was a tough call on Neshek,'' Melvin said. ``We still consider him part of the team. But we need some length (ability to throw 40-plus pitches out of the bullpen), so we brought back Evan.''
``We'll just to have to see what the need is, starter or relief,'' Anderson said.
Melvin said his preference is for Anderson to pitch in relief, at least when he's first activated, because he hasn't gone deep in games in his rehab starts. The manager didn't rule out a starting role for Anderson at some point, but he did say Anderson wasn't an option to pitch Thursday if Colon can't.
If he reports to Comerica Park still feeling good, then Colon will get the start because, as the manager said, the 14-game winner ``is the guy we'd like to start.''
If the A's were to stay on their current five-day rotation, Jarrod Parker would get the start against Tigers Max Scherzer, who is a staggering 19-1 this season but who got a no-decision in his one start against Oakland in April. Melvin would like to give Parker an extra day of rest after he's thrown 8.1, 9.0 and 8.0 innings in his last three starts.
If Colon can't go and the A's don't go with Parker, then Jesse Chavez might get the start. He's pitched 27 games, all in relief for the A's, but all five minor league appearances for him this year were starts.