Yesterday, the A's and Mariners placed their respective aces, Rich Harden and Felix Hernandez, on the 15-day D.L. Hernandez's trip doesn't raise any eyebrows. The initial diagnosis called for a 10-20 day lay-off. Putting him on the D.L. was a foregone conclusion with that time frame.
However, Rich Harden is a slightly different case. When he was removed from his start versus the Yankees on Sunday the 15th, initial reports from him had him making his next start the following Friday 4/20. A's management was a little more circumpsect. Then he missed that start but was going to start today 4/24. However, he was placed on the D.L. instead.
Precautionary, maybe, but his prognosis has gotten progressively worse, and that is a red flag I look for when trying to guess how bad an injury is. It is also what I am attending to with Hernandez. Right now he is scheduled to come off the D.L. on May 4th and start against the Yankees. Any change in that schedule is a warning that things may be worse than hoped for and reported.