MESA, Ariz. – The next few days will be critical as far as A’s left fielder Coco Crisp being ready for the start of the regular season.
Crisp has just seven games and 15 spring at-bats under his belt because of soreness in his throwing elbow, and he hasn’t played since Monday. The A’s are targeting Tuesday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels as a day for Crisp to return, according to manager Bob Melvin.
“If he can play Tuesday, we’ll probably give him Wednesday off, then play him in the Bay Bridge Series a couple of those games and he should be ready to go,” Melvin said.
Crisp received an injection in his elbow this past Tuesday, and the team has held him out to let the injection take effect. If he’s unable to get a few exhibition games under his belt before the April 6 season opener, the A’s face the prospect of two of their three outfield starters, Crisp and right fielder Josh Reddick, opening the season on the disabled list. Reddick is sidelined by an oblique injury and is expected to hit the DL, though that stint can be backdated and he could be reinstated after the first five games.
In other news, Melvin said Barry Zito will start Tuesday against the Angels with Sonny Gray throwing in a minor league game. Melvin had mentioned last week the A’s might do this with Gray, just as Scott Kazmir threw in the minors in his last start. Gray is plenty familiar with the Angels, and no use letting a division opponent get an extra look at him leading into the regular season. Gray will face the Angels in Anaheim in a late April series as the rotation currently sets up.
Outfielder Alex Hassan, recovered from a strained right hamstring, is in the lineup at right field for Saturday’s game against the White Sox in Glendale.
One final note: Melvin said the A’s will take 37 healthy players up north for the three-game Bay Bridge Series that begins Thursday, including some minor leaguers who have already been sent down.