OAKLAND -– Looking to get some of his key hitters back on track, A’s manager Bob Melvin shuffled up the top of his batting order Tuesday night against Texas.
Josh Reddick was bumped up into the second spot and Ben Zobrist is hitting third. Stephen Vogt and Billy Butler were both dropped a spot to fourth and fifth, respectively, against Rangers right-hander Nick Martinez.
“We have some guys in the middle that are scuffling some. Just give 'em a little change of scenery,” Melvin said. “(Reddick's) had a little success off Martinez. Get him up in the ‘2’ hole. It’s really just kind of changing the scenery for some guys in the middle of the order that are struggling a little bit.”
Zobrist, Vogt and Butler – often the 3-4-5 combo in Oakland’s order – went a combined 7-for-64 (.109) with seven RBI on the just-completed road trip, and four of those RBI came on swing of the bat with Zobrist’s grand slam at Detroit.
Vogt, one of the American League’s best all-around hitters for most of this season, was 1-for-20 with 11 strikeouts on the trip. He was taking extra swings with hitting coach Darren Bush during early batting practice Tuesday.
“I’m just working on slowing myself down,” Vogt said. “I’ve just sort of gotten into fast-forward mode and pressing a little bit. I’m not seeing the ball as well. I don’t really know where it started, it just got to that point. I’m trying to do too much and going too fast.”
First baseman Ike Davis is set try running the bases Wednesday to test his strained quadriceps. If that goes well, he’ll begin a rehab assignment this weekend. Though the A’s haven’t announced which minor league team he would join, Davis said he hopes to face Triple-A pitching in order to get the closest simulation to the majors.
Right-hander A.J. Griffin looked very sharp in two minor league outings for Single-A Stockton, his first official games since having Tommy John surgery in April 2014. He’s now on a normal every-fifth-day throwing schedule and will next pitch for Triple-A Nashville on Friday at Oklahoma City. Griffin didn’t allow a run over two outings (7.0 innings) with Stockton.
The A’s took five pitchers among their eight picks on the second day of the MLB draft. Rounds 3 through 10 were conducted Tuesday, and the A’s took right-hander Dakota Chalmers – a high school product from Georgia – in the third round. Reports say Chalmers has hit 98 on the radar gun but generally sits in the low to mid-90s. He’s committed to the University of Georgia, but A’s scouting director Eric Kubota expressed optimism that the team could sign Chalmers.