HOUSTON -- Before dropping the series opener against the Houston Astros on Monday night, the Oakland Athletics had caught a glimmer of hope with consecutive series victories over postseason contenders Cleveland and St. Louis.
Oakland (57-74) has been besieged by injuries, using the disabled list a club-record 27 times this season. With starters Sonny Gray (strained right forearm) and Jesse Hahn (strained right shoulder) currently on the DL, the Athletics have been forced to fill the void with relievers making spot starts. At this point, the objective is a murky blend of pursuing wins while also evaluating young talent.
"That's the tough balance," Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. "A team that's in our position, we're trying to look at younger players as well as try to keep our veteran guys in the lineup enough to keep them happy too. It's not an enviable position to be in and we've put ourselves in this position with our record. It's a little bit of a delicate balance."