Ah yes … It’s good to be back in action after being away from the team on the just-completed road trip. We’ll cut to the chase and get right to the A’s pregame news as they open a three-game series with the White Sox …
–It appears Coco Crisp is definitely out for the season. A visit to a hand specialist today verified the fracture in his left pinkie. It’s the same type of fracture — on the same finger — as the one Crisp suffered in early April that sidelined him for the first 42 games. The last fracture was on the outside of his knuckle, while this one is on the inside. He did it while sliding into third base on Saturday against Minnesota.
What is it about sliding into bases that puts this man at such risk? Crisp doesn’t think there’s any preventive measures he can take, but offered tongue-in-cheek: “I could try to steal bases standing up.” Crisp said there’s an outside chance he could try to play if the A’s jumped back into contention, but Oakland is nine games out with just 14 left, so you can do the math there. And manager Bob Geren confirmed it was recommended Crisp doesn’t play again this season.
What do we make of Crisp’s first year with the A’s? He definitely had trouble staying on the field, not too surprising given his injury woes of past years. But when he played consistently in the second half, he was a definite force atop the lineup. Factor in his terrific defense (his range and athleticism in center field help offset a below-average arm) and his career-high 32 stolen bases, and I think it’s a given the A’s have to pick up his $5.75 million option for 2011. “I had a lot of fun out here. I like these guys,” Crisp said. “The fans treat me very well. They have that option on me. I agreed for them to have that option on me just for the fact I wanted to come here. So it’s up to them to make any decision they feel is helpful to the team.”
–Third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff (back spasms) was scheduled to take full batting practice today, and all indications are he continues to make incremental improvement. Still no word on when he’ll return, but Geren sounded encouraged Kouzmanoff’s return could be close.
–It’s hard to believe tonight will be Chris Carter’s first game at the Coliseum. His entire first stint in the majors took place during a six-game road trip in August, and he was recalled at the start of the A’s most recent trip. Carter is 0-for-32 to start his career, the longest hitless streak to start a major league career (for a non-pitcher) since Vic Harris went 0-for-36 for Texas in 1972.
–On a final note, my apologies for not providing many blog/twitter updates while the team was on the last trip. A nasty stomach bug landed me on the DL for part of that time. I’m back to game speed now …
A’s — Davis CF, Barton 1B, Ellis 2B, Cust DH, Suzuki C, Iwamura 3B, Hermida RF, Carter LF, Pennington SS; Gonzalez LHP.
White Sox — Lillibridge 2B, Ramirez SS, Rios CF, Konerko 1B, RAmirez DH, Jones LF, Quentin RF, Castro C, Morel 3B; Floyd RHP.