TEMPE, Ariz. – It’s becoming a very realistic scenario that the A’s start their season with two starting outfielders on the disabled list.
Coco Crisp felt some discomfort in his right elbow while hitting in a minor league game Tuesday morning, leaving his availability for Monday’s opener against Texas very much in doubt. Coupled with right fielder Josh Reddick’s oblique injury, it could leave the A’s without two important pieces of their lineup.
“He had some issues,” manager Bob Melvin said of Crisp. “A couple swings bothered him, so we’ll sit down in the morning and see what the plan is.”
Crisp has logged just 15 at-bats in seven games played, as his elbow began acting up early in the exhibition season. Melvin has said Crisp is the kind of player who can be prepared for the regular season with very few at-bats. But the thought was that he would at least get to play in Wednesday’s Cactus League finale, and then in the Bay Bridge Series against the Giants to get ready.
While leaving the A’s minor league complex Tuesday morning, Crisp said his elbow was “good, then bad” while getting four plate appearances in the intrasquad game.
Should Crisp start the season on the DL, it would open the door for the A’s to keep outfielder Billy Burns on the Opening Night roster. Burns is hitting .394, and his 28 hits are the most by an Athletic during spring training since 1999.
DROPPING LUMBER: On a day the ball was flying out of Tempe Diablo Stadium, Mark Canha continued his recent hot streak. Canha hit a three-run homer to straightaway center in Oakland’s 13-10 victory over the Angels. Canha is 13-for-35 (.371) over his past 12 games. Given the injuries in the outfield, he could see time in left or right field early in the season, and he’ll be a key right-handed bat off the bench when he’s not in the lineup.
STOCK RISING: Tyler Ladendorf (3-for-4, 2 runs) and Eric Sogard (3-for-4) each had good days, and both infielders have enjoyed strong camps. Sogard is hitting .345 this spring. With Reddick being out, Melvin feels comfortable potentially playing Ben Zobrist in right field and starting Sogard at second. That’s a likely alignment against opposing right-handers. Ladendorf is likely to make the club as a utility infielder and outfielder.
ODDS AND ENDS: Switch pitcher Pat Venditte recorded a scoreless inning of relief with one strikeout against the Angels. … Luke Carlin, sent to minor league camp on Sunday, returned to the big club to catch Barry Zito on Tuesday. Carlin hit his first homer of the spring in the third inning off former Athletic Huston Street. … The A’s wrap up their Cactus League schedule with Wednesday’s 12:05 p.m. home game against the Angels, then fly to the Bay Area afterward. Scott Kazmir, Kendall Graveman and Drew Pomeranz are scheduled to start the three Bay Bridge Series games against the Giants.