You have to feel for Brandon McCarthy. The one-time top prospect battled a ton of significant injuries early in his career. He signed with the Oakland A's this past offseason looking for a fresh start, complete with a new approach and a new delivery, and through nine starts he posted a 3.39 ERA with 37 strikeouts and only ten walks. But just when everything seemed to be going well, on Friday we've learned that McCarthy is headed to the disabled list with a "stress reaction" in his right shoulder.
Why is this so troubling? Because it's McCarthy's fourth run-in with the same problem since 2007. This isn't a new injury. This is a repeat of an old injury, and while McCarthy didn't miss gobs of time the first three times it happened - and while McCarthy isn't expected to miss gobs of time this time, either - it's an indication that McCarthy just can't put his past behind him, and one wonders how well suited his body is for the rigors of pitching every five days.
Only making this all the worse for the A's is that starter Tyson Ross is also on the DL, and he was the replacement for Dallas Braden, who's out for the season. Oakland's pitching depth behind its top three is being put to the test as the A's try to hang around and make a playoff push in the tight AL West.
The starters who will replace Ross and McCarthy have yet to be announced.