OAKLAND -- For those who watched Marco Estrada's last two starts, it probably came as no surprise when the A's announced they had placed the veteran right-hander on the 10-day injured list with a lumbar strain.
Estrada, 35, has dealt with back issues for much of his career, including last season in Toronto. He has tried to pitch through the injury this season, but it got to a point where he couldn't ignore it anymore.
"It's been (bothering me) since we went on the road," Estrada said. "It's been bothering me but I've been able to pitch with it. It kind of just flared up. ... "It's shown. The (velocity) is down. I'm not locating. I don't hit guys. I don't walk guys. I couldn't pitch yesterday."
To Estrada's point, his fastball velocity was consistently around 85 mph in Tuesday's loss to the Astros, down from an average of 89 mph last season. He has allowed 13 earned runs in his last two starts and has a 6.85 ERA for the season.
"I was kind of hoping for a miracle that it would just go away," he said. "I don't want to go on the IL but I know it's the right decision. It's something I need to get taken care of. I'm only going to hurt the team pitching this way."
"We knew coming in that these were issues he's had in the past," A's manager Bob Melvin added. "We knew when this pops up that it's probably prudent to get him a break."
Estrada will see a specialist on Friday and hopes to only miss one start, but that will obviously depend on how he responds to treatment and rest.
"It's probably going to be a manage thing for him," Melvin said. "It's something that hasn't gone away. Keeping him as healthy as we possibly can will be important and when it flares up in the fashion it did after last night's game, it just doesn't make any sense to run him out there."
Added Estrada: "I've had issues before but normally they don't last very long," he said. "They kind of just go away over time. This one, over the offseason it went away. I was feeling good. I was really excited for this year. ..."When I'm healthy, I know I can still pitch and pitch well for this team and help them win. But right now, obviously, I'm not helping them."
Oakland recalled right-hander Chris Bassitt from Triple-A Las Vegas to take Estrada's spot on the 25-man roster. Bassitt, 30, pitched 11 innings in three minor-league outings this season, allowing four earned runs on eight hits, with 16 strikeouts. Last season with the A's, he went 2-3 with a 3.02 ERA in 11 appearances, including seven starts.