MESA, Ariz. – Coco Crisp has a case of pinkeye that is limiting his baseball activity, though the A’s center fielder joined his teammates on the field for Sunday’s workout.
Manager Bob Melvin said Crisp will be held out of an afternoon intrasquad game but would take batting practice. Crisp stayed home Saturday as pinkeye, or conjunctivitis, can be highly contagious. The condition causes redness, swelling and itchiness in one or both eyes. Crisp also got pinkeye in September 2012 and missed more than a week.
The A’s play their Cactus League opener Tuesday, but Melvin did not express concern about the timetable for Crisp to be available for exhibitions. He’d said previously that he planned to ease Crisp into games lightly as the veteran outfielder has been banged up by numerous injuries in recent seasons.
“I’ll probably hold him out for the first few anyway because I’m going to cut down a little bit on his workload,” Melvin said Sunday.
Crisp’s absence from the lineup early on will mean more playing time for other outfielders that seemingly are on the outside looking in when it comes to roster spots. One of those players is Alex Hassan, claimed off waivers from Baltimore on Friday. Hassan arrived in camp Sunday morning and is scheduled to play all 4 ½ innings of the intrasquad game at Fitch Park. The right-handed hitting Hassan, 26, saw his first major league action last season with Boston and went 1-for-8 over three games.
The A’s originally claimed Hassan off waivers from the Red Sox in November, only to have the Orioles then claim him Nov. 20. Referencing that three-day stint, Melvin joked that Hassan “has a little more tenure” than some other guys in camp.
“I know he’s versatile, he can play some 1B too,” Melvin said. “He’s more of a corner guy (in the outfield).”
Journeyman outfielder Jason Pridie, a non-roster invitee to camp, also stands to see early playing time in exhibitions.