MESA, Ariz. – The A’s sent right-hander Chris Bassitt to the minors Sunday, with the instructions to be on alert for when he might be needed.
“That was the message we gave him,” manager Bob Melvin said. “He was a little disappointed in his performance, yet we certainly could see through that and see what he has to offer. My guess is he will be a factor for us at some point in time this year.”
Bassitt, one of four players acquired from the White Sox in the Jeff Samardzija trade, entered camp as a legitimate rotation candidate. But he posted an 8.78 ERA over five appearances (3 starts) and talked frankly after a recent start against Cleveland that he needed to work on pitching inside more effectively to lefties. Melvin concurred and said he’d also like to see the 6-foot-5 right-hander improve his changeup.
The A’s always like to have multiple starters ready in the minors if needed, and they typically call on them at some point during the season. Bassitt will be one of the first names considered if he performs well at Triple-A Nashville.
In other news, Melvin said outfielder Coco Crisp was scheduled to play catch and do other baseball activity Sunday to test his sore right elbow. The A’s are targeting Tuesday as a potential day for him to return to the lineup.
Jarrod Parker will throw his next simulated game Thursday. The next step in his recovery from reconstructive elbow surgery would be to pitch in minor league games, but Melvin said Parker needs to build up to two innings in a simulated game before that happens.
Along with Bassitt, outfielder Alex Hassan was also optioned to Triple-A Nashville.