OAKLAND -- The A's will place 14-game winner Bartolo Colon on the 15-day disabled list with what manager Bob Melvin called a left groin strain. Melvin said Colon first felt the strain throwing off flat ground on Friday and felt discomfort again when he arrived at the Coliseum today. Tommy Milone, recently sent down to Triple-A Sacramento, is back in Oakland and will start on Sunday in Colon's place, Melvin said.
"Yesterday was the first time (Colon) felt it throwing his flat-ground (session) and he just abruptly stopped and came in," Melvin said.
"Probably the prudent thing to do is not to push him too much here and give him these 15 days off and see where we go from there."
Colon has been the A's best starting pitcher this season at age 40 but has struggled in his last two outings, allowing a combined 10 runs in 6 2/3 innings. Prior to that he had lasted at least six innings allowing three or fewer runs in 15 consecutive starts. Colon had also seen his velocity dip recently but appeared to be throwing harder in his last start against the Houston Astros.
Colon is 10 innings away from matching his 2011 total with the New York Yankees -- 164 1/3 -- which is the most he has thrown in a season since 2005. Melvin was asked if this could be a benefit in disguise for the A's, allowing Colon to recover fully before the final stretch run.
"Yeah, maybe," Melvin said. "He certainly doesn't want to (go on the DL). He wants to make every start that he can and based on the fact that he's had a great season for us and is a guy that we've leaned on pretty hard and has 14 wins at this point, it's not easy.
"You always want him to be able to pitch, but maybe with his age and so forth a little break at this point in time might be good for him."
Milone has made two starts for Sacramento since being sent down earlier this month, in which he allowed five runs (two earned) on 16 hits in 10 1/3 innings with 15 strikeouts. The left-hander, who said the A's called him last night and told him to be in Oakland in case they needed to make a move, said he "felt really comfortable" in his two River Cats starts and thinks he addressed some of the command issues that hampered him before his demotion.
Another residual effect of the Colon move: Brett Anderson, who was expected to make his first rehab outing for Sacramento tonight in relief, will instead start for Sacramento and throw three innings, Melvin said.
Melvin has reiterated over the past couple of weeks that the A's could get Anderson, their opening day starter, back sooner by bringing him out of the bullpen. Anderson was going to pitch two innings in relief tonight to get used to the relief role -- but plans changed.
"It's just keeping our options open," Melvin said. "You never know how things go from here and after we looked at it and after the Bartolo situation today, felt like it was probably the right thing to do.
"(Anderson) has been kind of stuck on that two-inning simulated thing, so he's itching to go and go a little bit longer. We just bumped it up incrementally."
* Here's the A's lineup today against Cleveland right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, with Coco Crisp (wrist) still out and Jed Lowrie getting another start at DH:
And the Cleveland lineup against A's right-hander Dan Straily:
* Melvin said Crisp, who is still waiting for the cortisone shot in his sore left wrist to take effect, likely won't return to the lineup until Monday at the earliest. Crisp was on the field for pre-game work.
* With Lowrie, Melvin said it's a case of making sure the shortstop is rested down the stretch -- Lowrie has already played more games (115) than in any of his previous five seasons -- and not any lingering knee soreness from being hit by a pickoff last week.
* The circus is in town, today is Yoenis Cespedes bobblehead day, and apparently those forces combined to create quite the logjam in the Coliseum parking lot. Straily, the A's starting pitcher, posted this Tweet around 3 p.m.: "Is this traffic mess serious? It might take an hour to get form oracle to the parking lot".
* Speaking of putting on a show, the gates opened early today, giving fans a chance to see Cespedes take batting practice on his bobblehead day, and he didn't disappoint. The A's left fielder just finished a remarkable session that included at least one ball hit over the lower suite windows to the second deck in straightaway center field. That's power.
-- Matt Kawahara