Conor Jackson to the DL; Coco Crisp back in A’s lineup; Matt Watson earns long-awaited return to majors

The Coliseum is gradually filling up, but there’s still plenty of empty seats in the second deck as we approach first pitch of the A’s-Yankees series opener.

A quick update of the day’s happenings:

–The A’s placed left fielder Conor Jackson on the DL with a strained right hamstring, not a surprise considering he had missed the past few games. His stint is retroactive to July 1, meaning he’s eligible to come off when the A’s resume play after the All-Star break. To bolster their outfield depth, the A’s called up Matt Carson and Matt Watson from Triple-A Sacramento and optioned right-hander Clayton Mortensen to Sacramento. Watson needed to be added to the 40-man roster, so Travis Buck was transferred to the 60-day DL. Pretty nice story for Watson, 31, who last played in the big leagues with the A’s in 2005. Since then, his journey has taken him to Japan as well as several minor league stops, but he’s back in the majors now.

–Coco Crisp went through pregame drills and his groin was OK, so he’s in the lineup tonight at leadoff.

–Check out tomorrow’s A’s notebook at contracostatimes.com for some reaction from Dallas Braden and Alex Rodriguez about A-Rod’s first return to the Coliseum since his infamous trot across the pitcher’s mound.

Tonight’s lineups:

A’s: Crisp CF, Barton 1B, Sweeney RF, Suzuki C, Cust DH, Kouzmanoff 3B, Gross LF, Ellis 2B, Pennington SS; Sheets RHP.

Yankees: Gardner LF, Jeter SS, Teixeira 1B, Rodriguez 3B, Cano 2B, Swisher DH, Granderson CF, Cervelli C, Curtis RF; Vazquez RHP.


Trevor Cahill named to AL All-Star team

In a somewhat expected announcement, A’s starter Trevor Cahill was named to the American League All-Star team by New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi.  Cahill, with an 8-2 record and a 2.74 ERA, got the nod over closer Andrew Bailey (15 saves, 1.64 ERA) and reliever Craig Breslow and catcher Kurt Suzuki.

Cahill had been mentioned as a candidate for a couple of weeks, but he really solidified his status with his past two outings with wins over Pittsburgh and Baltimore.


The lineups

A’s — Crisp CF, Barton 1B, Sweeney RF, Cust DH, Ellis 2B, Gross LF, Rosales 3B, Powell C, Pennington SS, Mazzaro P.

Indians — Brantley CF, Nix 2B, Santana C, Hafner DH, Kearns RF, Peralta 3B, LaPorta 1B, Crowe LF, Hernandez SS, Carmona P.


Dallas Braden placed on DL; Mark Ellis sits

Not a ton of news on what’s shaping up to be another nice night for baseball in Cleveland. As expected, Dallas Braden was placed on the 15-day DL to make room for tonight’s starter, Clay Mortensen. Not sure if this just a spot start for Mortensen since the A’s don’t necessarily need a fifth starter next week, but he could certainly make a case for himself to make more appearances for the A’s this season should he pitch well tonight.

A day off for Mark Ellis today, as Adam Rosales starts at second base. Gabe Gross is back in left field, as Conor Jackson still needs more time to rest his right hamstring. He said the discomfort is in a different spot than it was when he had to go on DL in April with a strained right hamstring.

A’s manager Bob Geren said Brett Anderson will throw again tomorrow in a simulated game and possibly in an actual game on the 9th. Geren said it’s too soon to speculate when he’ll be back in the A’s rotation, but the 19th in the series opener against the Red Sox at the Coliseum is a possibility (my words, not his).

The lineups

A’s — Crisp CF, Barton 1B, Kouzmanoff 3B, Suzuki C, Sweeney RF, Cust DH, Rosales 2B, Gross LF, Pennington SS, Mortensen P.

Indians — Crowe CF, Nix 2B, Santana C, Hafner DH, Kearns RF, Peralta 3B, LaPorta 1B, Duncan LF, Donald SS, Westbrook P.


Braden still on track for Saturday

Dallas Braden said his throwing session, which included flat ground throwing and a roughly 30-pitch bullpen session, went well. His arm feels much better now than it did Tuesday, when it was too tight to pitch. He said tomorrow will “tell the story” but A’s manager Bob Geren said the plan remains for Braden to pitch Saturday.

Coco Crisp and Conor Jackson are both out of the lineup. Crisp said he feels fine, so it’s just a day off to get his legs some rest. There are no lingering problems from his crash into the center field wall last night, and he should be ready for Friday’s opener in Cleveland.

Jackson, though, has some tightness in his legs and Geren said he’s day-to-day. Gabe Gross starts in left field, Rajai Davis in center and Ryan Sweeney in right.

Travis Buck went through a workout in Phoenix Wednesday with sprints and BP. He’ll obviously need to get in baseball shape before any rehab assignment can begin.

The lineups

A’s – Davis CF, Barton 1B, Kouzmanoff 3B, Suzuki C, Sweeney RF, Cust DH, Ellis 2B, Gross LF, Pennington SS, Cahill P.

O’s – Patterson LF, Tejada DH, Markakis RF, Wigginton 1B, Jones CF, Wieters C, Bell 3B, Moore 2B, Izturis SS, Arrieta P.