Here’s a few tidbits to tide you over until the A’s and Red Sox actually play a game Saturday, here at the Coliseum:
— Grant Green tonight is starting for the third time since being called up from Triple-A Sacramento. As was the case the first two times, Green is starting against a left-handed pitcher, this time Jon Lester. He entered the game 0-for-6 with four strikeouts.
— A’s manager Bob Melvin said his players will reconvene Friday after the All-Star break and get in a workout five hours before their game that night against the Angels.
— There’s still no word on whether Bartolo Colon will make himself available to pitch in the All-Star Game, Melvin said.
Therefore, Melvin won’t set his pitching rotation for second half until he knows whether Colon is pitching for the AL squad Tuesday.
— Yoenis Cespedes isn’t kidding about his desire to win the home-run derby Monday, the day before the All-Star Game.
On Saturday, Cespedes hammered ball after ball over the outfield fence during an extended batting session that mirrored the setup at the home-run derby.
Mike Gallego pitched to a catcher, without the backstop in place, and Cespedes offered only at pitches he deemed capable of being smacked a long way.
— Josh Donaldson still was somewhat of a curiosity at this point last season, his first full year in the majors. Now, he’s one of Melvin’s sure things every day.
“He’s nailed down the position, there’s no doubt about that,” Melvin said. “It’s always nice to be able to write out the lineup everyday knowing that Josh Donaldson is going to be at third base and he’s going to hit in the middle of the order somewhere.”
Donaldson already has shattered every meaningful stat from last season, when he hit nine home runs and batted in 33. So far, he has 15 home runs and 58 RBI this season.
Melvin said he and others A’s brass expected a solid showing from Donaldson this season, yet few envisioned this kind of success.
“He’s probably taken that to a level that I don’t think anybody expected, to this point, the numbers that he’s put up,” Melvin said. “That’s a very confident player that’s played well, has a lot of athletic ability, and he’s finally getting to show it at the big-league level for the first time on a consistent basis.”