Tangled up in a key divisional series with the Los Angles Angels this weekend, the Oakland Athletics entered their series finales on Sunday riding high after two victories.
There is nothing like an injury to a key player to kill those good vibes, however, and that’s what happened in Oakland on Sunday.
The A’s are suddenly drowning in injuries, chief among them a right intercostal strain to closer Sean Doolittle, who had to be placed on the 15-day disabled list in advance of Sunday’s series finale against the Angels…
…Such an injury can require as few as two or three weeks of recovery time and up to several months, depending on the severity. The extent of Doolittle’s was not known before Sunday’s game.
Doolittle has been a godsend for the A’s this season after their move to make Jim Johnson the closer this past off-season blew up in their faces. Doolittle has saved 20 games with a 2.28 ERA and an impressive 13 K/9 mark. With a fastball that averages 94 MPH and the eccentric beard and personality to match, Doolittle has been the closer that Oakland needed.
As the A’s continue to battle the Angels in the coming weeks for the top of the American League West and the chance to avoid the one-game wild card round, they will have to do so without their standout closer. Baseball players tend to struggle to come back from these types of injuries, so it might be well into September before the A’s have Doolittle back.