The Athletics have been baseball's hottest team despite having an entire rotation on the disabled list
The A's are dealing with a ton of injuries yet keep winning
The Oakland Athletics have won a lot lately. They'll enter play on Tuesday with the majors' best record over their last 20 games (16-4), and tied for the game's second-best record over their last 30 (20-10). Oakland's run has pulled it to within six games of the second wild card, leaving it with a 17 percent chance at reaching the postseason, per SportsLine's projections.
Those figures say plenty on their own, but what they don't tell you is how the A's run has been more impressive than it seems due to the horde of injuries they've dealt with along the way.
The A's injury collection hasn't received the same attention as those of other California-based teams, like the Angels and Dodgers, but it's nearly been as dire. At the moment, the A's have eight players on the disabled list: outfielders Matt Joyce and Boog Powell, and pitchers Paul Blackburn, Trevor Cahill, Jharel Cotton, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden, and Andrew Triggs -- that's two most-days starting positional players and six starting pitchers … yes, six.
One of the concerns about the A's entering the season was their lack of rotation depth. Sure enough, the A's have had to dig deep to fill in the gaps. They've dusted off veterans Edwin Jackson and Brett Anderson, and turned to a pair of unproven arms, in Chris Bassitt and Frankie Montas. Against all odds, it's worked out for them so far.
Anderson threw five shutout innings over the weekend against the Indians in his first big-league start in nearly two months due to injury. Jackson has tossed 18 innings over three starts, striking out 16 and permitting less than a baserunner per frame. Bassitt and Montas, meanwhile, have combined for a 3.22 ERA and 2.08 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 75 innings.
The makeshift rotation deserves a lot of credit for the A's recent run. But so too does the lineup. The A's have had one of the top-10 offenses in baseball all season, per park-adjusted metrics. Over the last 30 days, however, their lineup has been one of the handful of best in the game, with Stephen Piscotty, Jed Lowrie, and Mark Canha each posting an OPS above .900.
It's possible (if not probable) that the A's injuries will catch up to them over the coming days and weeks. Until then, give the A's credit: they're hanging around despite an imperfect situation.
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