Superstitious A’s manager Bob Melvin won’t change a thing about his pregame routine when the A’s are rolling. And when times are tough, as they are right now, he’ll shake things up. Rather than sit on the dugout bench to address reporters in his pregame media briefing, he preferred to stand, with writers gathered around him. He did his radio interview after talking to writers; usually he does it beforehand. Melvin didn’t give any reason for this, but I can guarantee he’s trying to change the A’s mojo after three straight losses.
–The A’s still haven’t gotten results of Brett Anderson’s MRI, but Melvin said Anderson’s oblique is still sore. “Brett is sore, so there’s a good chance he won’t make his next start.” Dan Straily is scheduled to pitch in Anderson’s place Monday against Texas unless the lefty makes a fast recovery.
As I wrote last night, the A’s had planned to pitch Travis Blackley on Saturday against the Yankees in Straily’s place, even before Anderson was hurt. Melvin said it had more to do with matchups and the ballpark than the fact Straily hasn’t pitched in New York before. He likes Blackley, a left-hander, facing New York, with Straily going against the Rangers.
“If (Straily) does pitch in Texas, that’s a predominantly right-handed hitting lineup,” Melvin said. “You do worry about some of the left-handed hitters in Yankee Stadium and the short porch there.”
It sounds as if Straily was simply going to be skipped in the rotation if Anderson hadn’t been hurt. Melvin said the A’s would have started Blackley on Saturday regardless and then re-evaluated for the next time through the rotation.
–Getting a win and avoiding a sweep here in rainy Detroit would be a good way for the A’s to head into the Yankee series. They will try to do it without center fielder Coco Crisp, who continues to deal with pink eye. Melvin said Crisp has made progress today and he thinks he might be a possibility to play Friday, though he admitted that’s being optimistic.
A new revelation this morning was the fact that Yoenis Cespedes has been playing with a bone bruise on the bottom of his right foot. Melvin said he didn’t know how exactly it happened, but Cespedes has been dealing with it since the last homestand. He’s serving as DH today, and Melvin said Cespedes is day to day as far as returning to the outfield.
The upshot is that the A’s are playing these crucial games without their leadoff hitter and center fielder, and with another one of their outfielders unable to play defense. That results in today’s outside-the-box lineup:
A’s — Drew SS, Reddick CF, Cespedes DH, Moss RF, Carter 1B, Smith LF, Donaldson 3B, Kottaras C, Pennington 2B; Milone LHP
Tigers — Jackson CF, Infante 2B, Cabrera 3B, Fielder 1B, Young DH, Peralta SS, Garcia RF, Dirks LF, Laird C; Sanchez RHP.