MESA, Ariz. – Sonny Gray will make his exhibition debut Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, with Scott Kazmir going two days later against the Seattle Mariners.
Both were skipped for the first week of games as the A’s wanted their top two starting pitchers to get a little extra rest.
Kazmir faced hitters in a simulated game Wednesday morning and manager Bob Melvin said Gray, the likely Opening Night starter, will do the same Thursday.
In other news, first baseman Nate Freiman could miss up to two weeks with a strained muscle in his back. Melvin said the injury just stemmed from baseball work and has gradually gotten worse.
That could mean more time at first base for Mark Canha against left-handers, though the Rule 5 pick is bouncing between left and right field as well. Canha homered Wednesday against the Giants.
“It’s good that he has some versatility,” Melvin said. “If Coco (Crisp) is the DH against a lefty one day, you could see him in left or right depending on the (Josh) Reddick situation. He just needs to be ready for all of them.”
It remains to be seen whether the left-handed hitting Reddick starts against lefties and righties or whether he platoons as he did at times last season.
One last roster note: Catcher Josh Phegley was away from the team to be with his wife, Jessica, as she gave birth to a girl. Stella Grace Phegley was born Wednesday and weighed 6 pounds, 11 ounces.