McCarthy's return a boon to A's rotation

McCarthy's return a boon to A's rotation

McCarthy's return a boon to A's rotation
KANSAS CITY -- Pitcher Brandon McCarthy was reinstated from the disabled list on Saturday and made the start for the A's in the middle game of the team's series with the Royals.

McCarthy had been on the DL with a strained right shoulder and had not made a start since May 17. Before heading to the DL, McCarthy was in the midst of a strong start to the season. In nine starts, his record was just 3-3, but he boasted an ERA of 2.95. He's only allowed more than two earned runs in a game twice.

Manager Bob Melvin said it was the perfect time for his team to get one of their top arms back.

"It means a lot. You have a guy that's your Opening Day starter, goes on the DL, a guy that we lean on pretty hard, heavily," Melvin said. "Confidence-wise, as a team, we feel great every time he takes the mound. Probably a pretty welcome time to get him back."

To make room for McCarthy, the A's optioned first baseman Daric Barton to Triple-A Sacramento. Barton has appeared in 37 games this season, but is batting just .198 with one home run and four RBIs.

Melvin chalked up the decision to option Barton to the fact that neither of his first basemen was getting a regular amount of playing time. Now that Barton is heading back to Sacramento, Kila Ka'aihue will get the majority of the playing time at first base.

"It was difficult getting a lot of consistent at-bats for whoever was playing over there," Melvin said. "Kila's probably done a little bit more offensively to deserve a shot. I think [it's important] showing support and confidence in him that [he's] earned [his] way to this point. It's been quite a road for him. The guy that was [forecast] to be the first guy out of here, as far as the first basemen, at this point is the guy that's still here.

"Daric could probably use some at-bats in the Minor Leagues, under a little less scrutiny and the pressure of the big leagues, not being in there every day and so forth. It probably serves him well to go down there and take a little pressure off him."