Shortstop Donnie Murphy, nursing a strained right rib cage muscle, was added to the 15-day disabled list to make room on the roster for Esteban Loaiza, the winning pitcher in Wednesday's 4-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
The move marked the 22nd time the A's used the disabled list this season, which ties an Oakland record set in 1992. Seeing one player depart for the DL and welcoming another is old hat by now for the A's. Loaiza became the 51st player to appear in game for the A's, a number that leads the majors and is an ongoing Oakland record. He also was the 23rd pitcher used, which is three off the Oakland record set in 1997.
Manager Bob Geren said before the game he was unaware of the A's matching the DL single-season record, and he won't be losing much sleep over it.
"I was actually thinking about trying to get to .500, I wasn't thinking of that," Geren said.
The loss of Murphy, who hurt himself while taking a big swing Saturday against Kansas City, further depletes the left side of the A's infield. Shortstop Bobby Crosby (broken left hand) and third baseman Eric Chavez (lower back spasms) already are shelved. Murphy had been starting in Crosby's place and relished the chance to finally play every day after serving three previous stints with the big league club this season and seeing little action. "It's just frustrating," he
His absence means Marco Scutaro, who was likely to lose playing time to Murphy and recently acquired third baseman Jack Hannahan, will remain the starter at shortstop for the time being. J.J. Furmaniak moves into the backup infielder role.
A spot also had to be cleared for Loaiza on the 40-man roster as he came off the 60-day DL. Rich Harden was transferred from the 15- to the 60-day DL. That means the soonest Harden can be activated is Sept. 9, but he probably wouldn't have been ready to pitch before then anyway.
Geren did receive an encouraging report on Harden's throwing program in Phoenix, saying the past couple of days have been the "best he's felt."
Getting a chuckle
All right fielder Nick Swisher could do was laugh when asked about his defensive play in the second inning Wednesday, when he fielded a one-hop drive from Gregg Zaun and fired to second to get a force out on Frank Thomas, the runner at first.
There aren't many 9-6 fielder's choice plays that go in the scorebooks.
What was so humorous? Swisher is good buddies with Thomas, who enjoyed a monster 2006 campaign in his only season with the A's.
"It's kind of funny, you know?" Swisher said. "Frank's not the quickest of cats. That's a tough play (for Thomas to read)."
Thomas, who signed a two-year, $18 million deal with Toronto in the offseason, is hitting .260 with 21 homers and 76 RBI. He got to his former team for two homers Tuesday against Dan Haren - the 507th and 508th of his career.
"I got a chance to hang out with him the last couple of days," Swisher said. "He looks great, and he's starting to swing."
The All-Time Gold Glove team, where one player was picked at each position through fan balloting, was announced Wednesday. Fifty Gold Glove winners from the past 50 years were chosen for the ballot during the spring. A's third baseman Eric Chavez was among six at his position on the ballot, but Brooks Robinson won out in the final voting.
-- Joe Stiglich