Notes: Injuries continue to add up

Notes: Injuries continue to add up

CHICAGO -- A's reliever Jay Witasick spotted a reporter toting an Oakland media guide in the visitors' dugout before batting practice at U.S. Cellular Field on Wednesday and laughed.

"Trying to keep track of who's still here?" he asked.

It was a clear reference to his team's remarkable run of injuries, and the media guide again proved useful in that regard before the finale of a three-game series against the host White Sox.

Earlier in the day, the A's used the disabled list for the 12th time this season, and the number of players currently on the DL grew to 10 when outfielder Milton Bradley was formally shelved for 15 days, retroactive to May 15, with a left hamstring strain.

Later in the day, after the A's avoided a three-game sweep with a 4-0 win, manager Bob Geren said righty reliever Connor Robertson soon will be added to the DL, too. Robertson's right thumb, struck by a batted ball in Monday's loss, is broken, so a new reliever will join the team Friday.

That'll give the A's an unlucky 13 trips to the DL for the year.

"We're like a bad Studebaker or an old VW bus after the warranty's up," Witasick cracked. "Parts falling off all over the place."

Bradley, who was on the DL with the same injury from April 23 to May 10, is eligible to be activated May 30, and Geren is hopeful that he'll be ready that day.

"He'll continue to work [with strength coach Clarence Cockrell]," Geren said. "He might work even harder; he really got after it today. I just want him to be 100 percent [before he comes back], because I know how much he can help us."

In the meantime, some of the help Geren will need might be coming via page 145 of the media guide. That's where you'll find the bio of Donnie Murphy, who was called up from Triple-A Sacramento to take Bradley's spot on the 25-man roster.

Murphy was batting .345 with two homers and 11 RBIs in 25 games with the River Cats, and he, too, has been on the DL this year. He strained his right shoulder on a swing two and a half weeks ago and didn't play again until Monday.

"There's been a lot of guys banged up [in Sacramento], too," Murphy said. "It's a lot like what their guys are going through."

Murphy, 24, was a fifth-round draft pick of the Royals in 2002 and made his big-league debut with Kansas City two years later. He was acquired by Oakland for cash considerations in November 2006 and made quite an impression this spring, batting .405 with a .479 on-base percentage in a team-high 25 Cactus League appearances.

"He's a good player," said A's second baseman Mark Ellis. "He came into Spring Training and did a great job. He really proved to a lot of us that he could play, so it's good to see him up here. He fits in with the team real well, too. He plays all three infield positions, and he's a hard-nosed guy."

Murphy played shortstop almost exclusively with Sacramento, but he said he took ground balls at third base and second base every day. He also started one game in left field.

"I'll play wherever they want me to play," he said

Updates from the capitol: Murphy said center fielder Mark Kotsay, who had back surgery in early March and is with Sacramento on a rehab stint, looked sharp in the two games they were teammates.

"For a guy who missed all that time, he was pretty impressive," Murphy said.

Kotsay went 1-for-3 on Monday and 2-for-2 with a double and a walk on Tuesday while playing five innings on defense both games. He was Sacramento's DH on Wednesday and went 0-for-4.

Also on Tuesday, righty Esteban Loaiza made his second rehab start and was touched for three runs on five hits, including a home run, over 2 2/3 innings for the River Cats. On the 60-day DL with a neck injury that he says is 100 percent, Loaiza's main concern of late has been his right knee, in which a recent MRI exam showed torn meniscus.

He's trying to pitch through it and avoid surgery.

"He still felt some discomfort," Geren said of Loaiza's outing Tuesday. "As of now, he's still going to make another [rehab] start. When and where, we're not sure yet."

Chavez among the ailing: Third baseman Eric Chavez, mired in a 1-for-13 slump and batting .203 (16-for-79) in May through Tuesday, did not start for the second game in a row.

Asked about it, Geren revealed a possible cause for his six-time Gold Glover's offensive struggles: "He has some triceps tendinitis."

With Thursday being a day off, Chavez will have three days of rest by the time Oakland opens a three-game series Friday against the Orioles at Camden Yards.

"He's optimistic about playing Friday in Baltimore," Geren said.

Dribblers: Rookie outfielder Travis Buck was a late scratch from the starting lineup Wednesday. His tender right elbow flared up during batting practice, so Hiram Bocachica got his second consecutive start in center field. ... Closer Huston Street (elbow) is eligible to come off the DL on Monday, but Geren doesn't expect him to be ready by then. ... Bench coach Bob Schaefer turned 63 on Tuesday, and lefty Joe Kennedy, who pitches Saturday, turns 28 on Thursday.

Up next: A's righty Dan Haren (4-2, 1.74 ERA) will get the ball opposite Orioles lefty Erik Bedard (3-2, 4.28 ERA) Friday in Baltimore. The first pitch is set for 4:05 p.m. PT.

Mychael Urban is a national writer for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.