PREGAME NOTES: Norris back, Reddick a ways away, Nakajima clearly not in the picture

In for John Hickey …

Derek Norris was activated from the disabled list Thursday and now the A’s have three solid catchers (Kurt Suzuki, Stephen Vogt, Norris) for down the stretch, even without John Jaso, who is looking more and more like he might be out for the year with concussion issues.

How healthy is Norris with his fractured toe? Here’s the answer from the man himself.

“I don’t know how long it takes for a bone to heal, but it feels fine,” he said. “I caught two games down in Sacramento, and I’m ready to go. It feels better every day. It was real sore at first. But now it’s fine. Something like that wasn’t going to keep me out. If it was a completely broken and I couldn’t walk on it, that would be one thing. But it was manageable to begin with and it’s almost 100 percent now.”

Manager Bob Melvin is happy to have Norris back.

“He’s not in the lineup today, but having a third guy now gives us the opportunity to do some in-game stuff that maybe we weren’t able to do before,” he said. “We feel like we have three quality guys, so whoever is starting on a particular day, we feel good about.”

–Josh Reddick hit in the cage Thursday and will probably take some live B.P. when the team gets to Minnesota early next week. So it looks like it’ll still be a little while for Reddick.

–Even though he has been a bit rough around the edges in his outings so far, Melvin has been OK with the way Brett Anderson has pitched. “It’s tough for him,” Melvin said. “He’s the one guy who really doesn’t know what his role is. If the opportunity comes up like yesterday where we can stretch him out a little bit then we’ll do that. He’s also shown he can be a factor for us late in games for an inning. It’s difficult for him to prepare, but it is what it is. He’s a guy who might pitch in any particular role. But for me, the stuff looks good. Maybe the numbers don’t look so good right now, but the stuff looks good and every time we’ve brought him out there it’s looked good, whether it’s a long role or short role.”

–I asked Melvin what was up with Hiro Nakajima since the Triple-A season was over and whether he went back to Japan. “I would imagine, yeah,” he said. “But I’m not sure, though.” Nakajima is not on the 40-man roster and wasn’t among the September call-ups. It’s a pretty good clue how far off the radar he is with the A’s right now, but he’s still under contract for next season (with a club option for 2015).

–Chris Carter doesn’t have much of a batting average and he’s struck out 184 times (wow!), but he’s still had a decent production year in Houston (27 homers, 73 RBIs).


The lineups:

OAK: CF Crisp, 3B Donaldson, SS Lowrie, RF Moss, LF Cespedes, DH Smith, 1B Barton, 2B Sogard, C Vogt. RHP Gray (2-2, 2.57)

HOU: SS Villar, 2B Altuve, LF Crowe, 3B Wallace, 1B Carter, DH Krauss, CF Barnes, RF Hoes, C Pagnozzi. RHP Peacock













Carl Steward