It’s been a long, slow month or so for Coco Crisp.
Is it possible things are starting changing for the A’s center fielder?
He had a double, a walk and an RBI Friday against the Rangers. He came back with a bunt single in the first inning Saturday to get a three-run rally going, then singled in the seventh inning with a man at second, setup up the A’s final run.
Crisp came into July with a .274 average. He came into August at .248, although he’s tacked on three points in the first two games of the month.
More than that, A’s manager Bob Melvin sees improved contact from his leadoff man.
However, Melvin said that it was Crisp’s first-inning bunt that might light a fuse in the center fielder’s batting average.
“It can be the kind of thing that gets him going,’’ Melvin said. “But he has been hitting it on the screws two or three times a game latterly. I think he’s swinging way better (than his batting average).
“It looks to me like he’s ready to (take off).’’
The A’s could use some of that. Crisp is as critical a piece of the A’s offense as there is. When he gets on, the A’s win consistently. When he doesn’t, which has been the case for over four weeks, the offense lacks consistently good production. It’s no coincidence that the A’s averaged 130 runs per month with Crisp generally doing well at the plate and then scored just 93 in the month of July.
–Stephen Vogt was taken out of the game in the ninth inning after he got hit in the head by a bat swung by Rangers’ third baseman Jurickson Profar in the seventh and took a foul ball off his mask about the same time.
He was checked out after the game and there are, unlike fellow catcher John Jaso, no concerns about concussion.
“I’m feeling good,’’ Vogt said in the A’s clubhouse after the game. “It’s not a case of concussion. They did some testing after I left the game.’’
More than anything, Vogt said he couldn’t believe Profar could hit him with his swing. Vogt as a general rule sets up deep in the batter’s box, and still the free-swinging Profar was able to make contact with Vogt’s batting helmet.
“I don’t know how he did that,’’ Vogt said. “I don’t exactly set up close to the plate.’’
Melvin, himself a former catcher, said the case of Jaso battling concussion has heightened the awareness the team has of the perils of catching, which is why Derek Norris caught the last inning.
“We’re hoping it’s nothing,’’ Melvin said, adding that it was better to be cautious in a case like this.
–Jaso said after the game that while his in-game tests suggest his concussion symptoms are lessening, but that doesn’t mean he’s any closer to getting on the field.
He’s certain he’s not going to be ready to fly with the A’s on Monday when they head to Cincinnati for two games and again Wednesday when they head on to Toronto for four more games.
“It went good,’’ Jaso said. “I really don’t think I’ll be making the trip, though.’’
Jaso was hit on the mask by foul balls three consecutive days in Houston last week. He went on the special 7-day disabled list set aside for concussion victims, but it’s been 10 days and counting and he’s not cleared to do any baseball-related activities.
That may change. The tests Saturday will be evaluated by an outside specialist in concussions, Micky Collins in Pittsburgh, and he will advise the A’s on what the next step should be regarding Jaso.