A familiar face returns to the A’s lineup with Coco Crisp being activated from the disabled list. He’s starting in center field tonight and batting second behind Jemile Weeks. What impact will he have? I’m not sure. He was hitting .194 with five RBIs in 18 games at the time he went on the DL. As he said when asked how his batting stroke is feeling: “It couldn’t be any worse than before, so it’ll be all right.” Backup infielder Eric Sogard was optioned to the minors to make room for Crisp.
So this makes the A’s 1 for 4 so far in welcoming back hitters they’re hoping can boost the offense – Crisp, Yoenis Cespedes, Brandon Inge, Manny Ramirez. Let’s handicap the percentage chance of those other three joining the A’s on the first day they’re eligible (percentages based on the Stiglich Not-So-Scientific Method)
**Cespedes: 0 % — He’s eligible to come off the D.L. on Tuesday, and that just isn’t going to happen. A’s manager Bob Melvin said Cespedes won’t play in the Angels series, and neither he nor Cespedes knows for sure when he’ll start swinging a bat to test his strained left hand. I’d say he’ll miss at least another week.
**Inge: 60 % — He was scheduled to field grounders and take batting practice before today’s game. I didn’t catch whether he was in the cage or not. But Melvin is encouraged Inge might be ready to come off the D.L. when he’s first eligible next Monday.
**Ramirez: 50 % — This one would have been higher a few days ago, but Ramirez struck out three times in his Triple-A debut and then missed Sunday’s game with a sore left wrist. But he’s playing tonight against Round Rock and singled in his first two at-bats. Ramirez will have to produce at least a little with the River Cats to give the A’s confidence to promote him and install him at DH. Unless he looks terrible against Pacific Coast League pitching – and unless the A’s rattle off a long winning streak without him – I still expect to see him with Oakland on May 30, when his 50-game suspension ends.
A’s – Weeks 2B, Crisp CF, Reddick RF, Ka’aihue DH, Smith LF, Donaldson 3B, Barton 1B, Suzuki C, Pennington SS; Milone LHP.
Angels – Trout LF, Callaspo 3B, Pujols 1B, Trumbo RF, Morales DH, Kendrick 2B, Aybar SS, Bourjos CF, Wilson C; Williams RHP.