OAKLAND -– Cody Ross arrived in the A’s clubhouse at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, started shaking hands with the clubhouse staff and found his name in the starting lineup with his new team.
Ross is playing right field and batting second against Rangers lefty Ross Detwiler, and A’s manager Bob Melvin said the right-handed hitting Ross will platoon at the corner outfield spots and play against left-handers.
“He can hit left-handed pitching. He’s got some power, he’s got some experience,” Melvin said before the game. “I know he’s excited about being here. A lot of times, when guys are a little bit later in their career, it’s all about winning for them. I know that will be the case with him.”
The A’s will have another roster decision on their hands come Saturday, when right fielder Josh Reddick is expected to be activated from the disabled list. Does Ross stick around beyond that point? Will it be a short run with the big club for utility man Tyler Ladendorf, who’s starting at second base Wednesday?
That decision will come. Ross, 34, is a .294 career hitter against lefties, and he says he feels great physically after a fractured and disclocated hip sidetracked him for much of the past two seasons. He was released by the Diamondbacks over the weekend, a move that he says “blindsided” him. Ross says he had several teams reach out to him, but he felt the A’s were the best fit.
“I couldn’t be any more excited,” he said. “I’ve heard a lot of great things about Bob Melvin and the coaching staff. I’m just excited to be here.”
Outfielder Billy Burns was optioned to Triple-A Nashville to clear a roster spot, and fellow outfielder Alex Hassan was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.
Burns enjoyed a blistering spring at the plate to win an Opening Night roster spot, but he said he was braced for possible bad news when Ross was acquired.
He said his “exit interview” with Melvin went well.
“I think he was more upset about it than I was,” Burns said.