KANSAS CITY – A few notes and tidbits from A’s manager Bob Melvin’s pregame media session:
Mark Canha, who has been the No. 2 hitter since opening the season on such a hot streak, gets a night off Saturday, with catcher Stephen Vogt batting second, Ben Zobrist handling left field and Eric Sogard handling Zobrist’s normal spot at second base.
Canha is 3-for-16 on the road trip so far.
“We need to keep Sogey in there,” said Melvin, who’s trying to find a way to keep everyone on his platoon-heavy roster sharp. Because the A’s are on the tail end of a six-game stretch facing strictly right-handed starting pitchers, it’s been tough to give many at-bats to right-handed hitters like catcher Josh Phegley and outfielders Craig Gentry and Cody Ross.
But three of the A’s next five games, beginning Sunday, will be against lefties, as the pitching probables currently shape up.
Jarrod Parker (Tommy John surgery) had another strong session Saturday, throwing three innings in an extended spring training game. His fastball ranged from 90 to 94 miles per hour. Parker will throw a bullpen session on Monday and his next outing after that will be Thursday. That outing could be an official minor league game with one of the A’s affiliates, but it has yet to be determined.
The A’s are also hopeful that outfielder Coco Crisp will be able to begin baseball activity Monday, as he recovers from arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow. Crisp is doing range of motion exercises and coming along well. He had surgery April 3, and the typical recovery from his procedure is six to eight weeks.
Lefty Sean Nolin, recovering from sports hernia surgery, is coming along well and is slated to pitch three innings in an extended spring game Monday. If the A’s decide to bring Nolin back as a reliever, that would speed up his timetable for a full return, but that hasn’t yet been decided.