The A’s caught a break tonight with Texas starter Yu Darvish — 16-9 on the season — getting scratched with a stiff neck. Scott Feldman (6-11, 5.19) will start in his place. Can the A’s capitalize? They chased Derek Holland early last night but obviously that didn’t translate to the win column.
A’s manager Bob Melvin shook up today’s lineup, with Josh Reddick sitting, Cliff Pennington batting leadoff and Daric Barton getting a start at first base. The starting nine:
A’s — Pennington 2B, Drew SS, Cespedes CF, Moss RF, Smith LF, Carter DH, Barton 1B, Donaldson 3B, Kottaras C; Milone LHP.
Tex — Kinsler 2B, Andrus SS, Hamilton CF, Beltre 3B, Cruz RF, Young 1B, Murphy LF, Napoli DH, Soto C; Feldman RHP.
It’s not a huge surprise to me to see Reddick get a night off considering he’s mired in a 0 for 27 slump. Reddick said he was the one who approached Melvin about the idea. He cited the physical wear and tear he’s been feeling, but also acknowledged how much he’s struggled at the plate. In fact, I was a bit surprised at how honest he was in his assessment of his recent play.
“I’ve never been one to want a day off,” Reddick said. “But enough is enough. I’m not helping the team at all right now. Defensively, offensively, I’m not doing one bit of good for this team right now. I’ve just been an automatic out lately. I think I left, like, 16 runners on base in the Yankee series. Soemthing’s gotta change. Get Moss out there. He’s been swinging the bat well for us all year. You just gotta give someone else the opportunity to pick this team up right now.”
Having said all that, Reddick said he expects, or at least is hopeful, of being back in the lineup Wednesday. And despite the poor stats of late, he said he feels pretty good at the plate right now in terms of seeing the ball, recognizing pitches and the contact that he’s making.
“A lot of people may think I’m trying to (swing for the fences) just to get to 30 (homers), but that’s not the case,” Reddick said. “I’m just trying to get out of this thing to help my team win. That’s the biggest thing right now. I’m not worried about my personal numbers. I’m worried about helping this team win and get to the postseason.”
–It sounds as if Coco Crisp might be turning a corner. He hit in the cage and tracked fly balls during batting practice, though he wasn’t actually catching them. Melvin said Crisp is seeing better out of his left eye, but that the right eye is still an issue.
“This was the day we were targeting to get him some baseball activity. Certainly it’s more encouraging than we wre thinking yesterday.”
Melvin talked more about his bullpen decisions in Monday’s tough loss, when the A’s gave up a two-run lead in the seventh and lost it in walkoff fashion in the ninth. He said lefty Sean Doolittle wasn’t available and that he didn’t feel comfortable calling on Jeremy Accardo for his A’s debut in the ninth inning of a tie game.
“I don’t know if that’s fair, for a guy that hasn’t pitched in what, 11 days or whatever it’s been,” Melvin said. “Now, with his experience and so forth, I certainly thought about it. But I just didn’t think that would be fair to him. And I wasn’t sure if the command would be there, all of the above.”