The suddenly thinner Oakland A's starting rotation took another big hit on Thursday. Brett Anderson will miss the remainder of the 2012 regular season with a strain of his right oblique muscle, according to Joe Stiglich of the San Jose Mercury News.
Anderson, who posted a 4-2 record with a 2.57 ERA in six 2012 starts, is likely to be replaced in the rotation by fellow left-hander Travis Blackley.
Previously, manager Bob Melvin had said that Dan Straily would take Anderson's spot and that Anderson would miss one start. However, after Thursday's 12-4 victory in the series finale in Detroit, Melvin said that Anderson would be out for the rest of the regular season.
Furthermore, Melvin is not sure if Anderson is going to be available to pitch for the A's in the playoffs, if they advance to that point.
Anderson's injury, coupled with the losses of Brandon McCarthy (head injury) and Bartolo Colon, threatens to derail the Oakland express that has seemingly made a postseason appearance a formality.
With Straily and Blackley in the rotation, the A's will now combine them with rookies Jarrod Parker, A.J. Griffin and Tommy Milone to try to complete this season's improbable run to the postseason.
However, with a big series against the New York Yankees on the horizon before a huge four-game series in Texas, the loss of a veteran like Anderson puts further pressure on the rookies to deliver the first postseason trip since 2006 to the A's franchise. Anderson was projected to make two more starts in the rotation for Oakland.
Additionally, Melvin is cautiously optimistic that Coco Crisp, who continues to suffer from conjunctivitis in both eyes, may be able to play in the Friday opener against New York.