Athletics

A's to place Ramón Laureano on 10-day IL with stress reaction in shin

A's to place Ramón Laureano on 10-day IL with stress reaction in shin

OAKLAND -- The A's celebration of Tuesday's walk-off win over the Milwaukee Brewers was tempered by some bad news on the injury front.

Oakland manager Bob Melvin revealed that starting center fielder Ramón Laureano will go on the 10-day injured list with a stress reaction in his right shin.

"We're going to have to shut him down for a period of time," Melvin said. "He's not going to be back in 10 days."

Melvin didn't provide an exact timetable for Laureano's return. Fortunately for the 25-year-old, it's not a stress fracture, which typically takes means a six-to-eight week absence. However, a stress reaction can lead to a stress fracture if not allowed to heal properly.

This is obviously a crushing blow for the A's, both offensively and defensively. Laureano leads the team with a .284 batting average and ranks third with 21 home runs and second with 58 RBI.

He also has one of the best arms, if not the best, in all of baseball. He has made numerous highlight-reel catches and throws in center field during his first two years in the majors, and those will be practically impossible to replace.

[RELATED: Three pitching combos that could make A's true contenders]

The A's will have to rely upon their excellent outfield depth, especially with right fielder Stephen Piscotty nearing a return from a knee sprain. Mark Canha is having the best season of his career and figures to slide over to center field when Piscotty returns, with Robbie Grossman and Chad Pinder splitting time in left.

Oakland already has found a way to overcome their share of injuries the past two seasons. Now, the A's will have to do it again in the absence of one of their best players. 

Former A's pitcher Bartolo Colon throws to kids in Dominican Republic

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Former A's pitcher Bartolo Colon throws to kids in Dominican Republic

Sorry Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds and Mike Trout.

But Bartolo Colon is the greatest baseball player ever.

Colon is an absolute legend. He pitched last season with the Texas Rangers at the age of 45, and he probably wanted to keep pitching this season, but no team signed him.

So what better way to scratch the pitching itch than to crash some kids' pick-up baseball game and throw heat by the overmatched youngsters.

That's exactly what the former A's pitcher did this week, and he posted videos on his Instagram feed.

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Spending time in Los Rincones de Guananico

A post shared by Bartolo Colon (@bcolon40) on

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Los rincones de Guananico

A post shared by Bartolo Colon (@bcolon40) on

But Big Sexy wasn't done. The very next day, Colon crashed another pick-up game.

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Eso es en los caño de maimon

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[RELATED: What are A's playoff chances?]

Can a major league team please sign Bartolo? He's a national treasure, and we deserve to watch him pitch for another 15 years.

AL wild-card race reset: Breaking down A's chances of making playoffs

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AL wild-card race reset: Breaking down A's chances of making playoffs

OAKLAND -- With just nine games left in the regular season, the A's are in a great position to lock up a playoff berth for the second consecutive year.

Oakland sits atop the AL wild-card standings at 92-61, two games ahead of Tampa Bay and 2 1/2 games in front of Cleveland. The A's also have the easiest remaining schedule of the three clubs.

Here's a breakdown of each team's final three series and their odds to make the playoffs:

A's: 92-61 (9 games remaining)

3 vs. Rangers (74-79)
2 at Angels (69-83)
4 at Mariners (64-88)

Oakland will play its final nine games of the regular season against sub-.500 AL West opponents. With a magic number of eight to clinch the top-wild card position, the A's likely only need to win five of the nine games. A 6-3 record would just about guarantee them the top spot.

According to FanGraphs, the A's have a 96.3 percent chance of making the playoffs.

Rays: 90-63 (9 games remaining)

4 vs. Red Sox (79-72)
2 vs. Yankees (99-54)
3 at Blue Jays (61-91)

The Rays have the most difficult remaining schedule of the three wild-card contenders, with six games against the Red Sox and Yankees. New York still has something to play for as they try to beat out Houston for home-field advantage, while Boston's lineup is always dangerous.

FanGraphs gives Tampa Bay a 59.9 percent chance of making the playoffs.

Indians: 89-63 (10 games remaining)

1 vs. Tigers (45-106)
3 vs. Phillies (78-72)
3 at White Sox (66-86)
3 at Nationals (83-68)

The Indians have two tough series remaining as they battle the Phillies and Nationals from the NL East. Washington currently leads the NL wild-card race, while Philadelphia is three games out of the second spot.

According to FanGraphs, Cleveland has a 44.0 percent chance of making the playoffs.

Tiebreakers

The A's own tiebreakers against both the Rays and Indians, having won the season series against each club. That means, in the case of a two-team tie between the A's and either Tampa Bay or Cleveland, Oakland would still host the Wild Card Game.

[RELATED: Red-hot A's have work to do to attract fans]

It gets more complicated if all three teams tie for the two wild-card positions. The A's still own the tiebreaker, so they would host the Rays, with the winner earning the top wild-card spot. The Indians would then host the loser, with the winner of that game claiming the second wild-card position.

Of course, if the A's handle their business, it won't come down to tiebreakers.