OAKLAND -- Righty reliever Pat Neshek is looking forward to pitching with the A's, rather than against them, especially considering his most vivid memory of the A's comes from the 2006 American League Division Series, in which Oakland swept his Twins club in three games.
"That wasn't expected," he said Friday, smiling.
Now with the A's, who acquired Neshek from Baltimore on Friday in exchange for cash considerations and recalled him from Triple-A, the righty will play the role of a matchup guy for Oakland, having dominated right-handed batters in his career, thanks to an unorthodox sidearm motion.
In 157 big league appearances, Neshek has compiled a .183 opponents' average against right-handers, compared to a .211 mark vs. lefties.
"Another right-handed, more matchup guy that has the ability to get some righties out, whether it's sixth or seventh inning," manager Bob Melvin said. "This is a guy that the organization has been talking about for awhile, and to give us that added depth from the right side is nice."
Before landing in Oakland, Neshek spent the entire season with Triple-A Norfolk, where he had 11 saves and a 2.66 ERA in 35 relief appearances. Moreover, he struck out 49 batters in 44 innings and walked just seven while yielding one home run.
"I was excited to get the news yesterday," Neshek said. "I was pitching pretty well all year, but there really wasn't much opportunity for me at the big league level with the Orioles. I know these guys here, they're playing well, a lot of hungry guys. They're exciting to watch. That was the talk in baseball with a lot of my teammates with the Orioles, was, 'How are they doing this?'"
The 31-year-old Neshek is 12-7 with a 3.21 ERA in five Major League seasons, four of which came with the Twins, the other coming in San Diego. His most productive season was 2007, when he went 7-2 with a 2.94 ERA in 74 appearances.
To make room for Neshek on the roster, along with Friday's starter Dan Straily, the A's optioned relievers Jim Miller and Evan Scribner to Triple-A.
Hamstring lands Smith on 15-day DL
OAKLAND -- The A's placed Seth Smith on the 15-day disabled list on Friday with a strained left hamstring and recalled Michael Taylor from Triple-A Sacramento to bring in another outfielder.
For Smith, who sustained the injury when running out a groundout in the fifth inning of Thursday's win over the Blue Jays, this marks the first DL stint of his career. Only in the Minor Leagues, Smith said, had he ever before experienced any sort of hamstring issues.
"Even that was different," said Smith, who was batting just .177 over his previous 30 games before the injury. "This just kind of came out of nowhere. My hamstrings weren't sore. I was just running and kind of felt it. Today, it felt pretty much the same as last night, no worse, no better. I knew it was something that wasn't going to be OK in a couple of days."
Taylor, meanwhile, gives the A's another right-handed option off the bench and is expected to garner a handful of starts in left field when Yoenis Cespedes starts in center in an effort to spell Coco Crisp, who recently missed four games because of his own hamstring soreness.
It's the second big-league stint of the year for the 26-year-old Taylor, who went 3-for-16 during a four-game stay with the A's in early May. He was batting .301 with 11 home runs -- seven of which came in his last 24 games -- and 57 RBIs, to go along with a .413 on-base percentage, in 95 games with the River Cats.