The A’s have some decisions to make in the next week, and not all of them are clear cut.
Between now and Friday, outfielders Chris Young and Coco Crisp and starting pitcher Brett Anderson are likely to come off the disabled list.
It seems a no-brainer that Dan Straily will be the odd man out in the rotation. He has made three starts with Anderson out, and is due to make another against Texas Wednesday, two days before Anderson (sprained right ankle) is first eligible to come off the disabled list.
Young and possibly Crisp could come off the disabled list on Wednesday, and while it’s certain that Michael Taylor, who has an .063 average and hasn’t driven in a run, will be sent down, choosing between the other two candidates, Luke Montz and Daric Barton, will be a matter of just what kind of flexibility A’s manager Bob Melvin wants.
Getting Crisp and Young back means the A’s have four-fifths of their outfield healthy with Yoenis Cespedes and Seth Smith. And that being the case, there is less need for Brandon Moss to play right field, so he can move back to first base.
With the left-handed Moss and the right-handed Nate Freiman available at first base, that will but a crunch on playing time for Barton unless one of those two is going to be used as the DH. Montz, on the other hand, is a catcher, and having him around means that Melvin can use John Jaso and Derek Norris in the starting lineup knowing he has backup.
Four of the last five A’s games facing right-handed pitching have seen both Jaso in the lineup leading off and Norris batting down lower.
The best guess here is that Barton stays over Montz, but it’s hardly a lock.
The A’s are reasonably certain they are going to get Young back from the disabled list on Wednesday, the first day he’s eligible after 15 days spent on the disabled list dealing with a left quad strain.
Sunday Melvin said there is hope they get Crisp back at the same time. Both men were injured in the latter stages of the A’s 19-inning win over Angels on April 29, a game from which the A’s are taking a long time to recover.
Crisp is likely to run the bases Monday when the A’s return home to start a three-game set with the American League West-leading Rangers. If all goes well, Crisp would join Young in being activated Wednesday.
“Who knows (if he will be activated),’’ Melvin said in talking of Crisp, “but it’s not out of the completely question.’’
Young will play games Monday and Tuesday at the A’s extended spring training camp in Phoenix to get in a little tuneup. Crisp isn’t likely to do that, Melvin having said in the past that Crisp doesn’t seem to need game time experience when coming off the disabled list as much as other players.
Anderson, the third A’s player hurt in that 19-inning game, pitches in a Double-A game for Midland Sunday in San Antonio and is due to come off the disabled list Friday against Kansas City.