Oakland reinstated right-handed pitcher Brandon McCarthy from the 15-day disabled list on Sunday, and optioned lefty Josh Outman to Triple-A Sacramento.
The move comes in advance of McCarthy's scheduled return in Monday's series opener against the Mariners. The righty, who was 1-4 with a 3.39 ERA in nine starts this season, has been on the disabled list since May 20 (retroactive to May 19) with a stress reaction in his right scapula.
The injury is one McCarthy has dealt with three previous times in his career, so he is familiar with the healing process and said he feels the shoulder is where it needs to be for his return to the mound.
"When I come back and it's healthy, it's healthy," McCarthy said. "There's no issues, nothing lingers, so it's been pretty similar [to the previous injuries]."
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McCarthy made two rehab appearances with Class A Stockton, including one start. The righty pitched a combined 10 innings, including six innings of one-run ball on June 29. Because he wasn't fully extended during his rehab outings, it is likely McCarthy will be held to a pitch count similar to the one fellow starter Rich Harden had during his season debut on Friday.
Regardless of how long he will be used on Monday, McCarthy is just pleased to be back from the disabled list.
"It's good to be back," McCarthy said. "I definitely get bored and get tired of sitting around and feeling worthless, so it's going to be good to be back and have a chance for my competitive energy to go somewhere, instead of just sitting around playing PlayStation."
As for Outman, the southpaw was sent down to Triple-A Sacramento to make room for McCarthy on the 25-man roster. Since returning from Tommy John surgery, Outman was 3-3 with a 3.47 ERA in eight starts for the A's. He notched quality starts in six of his eight appearances, but he was knocked around for four runs and struggled with location in his last start, a 4-2 loss to the D-back on Saturday.
"It's not like he pitched poorly," Melvin said. "It was more of a numbers thing than anything else. Somebody had to go, and everybody knew these guys were coming back. What I told him was that it just became a numbers thing.
"Certainly wasn't a full performance thing, I know he was a little disappointed in his performance [Saturday], but still he only gave up the four runs. If that's a bad outing, we'll take it."
The transactions mean the A's will return to a five-man rotation, at least through the All-Star break. After McCarthy, righty Trevor Cahill will pitch Tuesday, Guillermo Moscoso on Wednesday, and Rich Harden will make his second start on Thursday in Texas before Gonzalez, McCarthy and Cahill lead the A's into the break.
With the return of righty Tyson Ross, who injured his left oblique eight pitches into his May 19 start, on the horizon, Melvin said the team would reassess the rotation after the break.
Tom Green is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.