Lead-off hitter Coco Crisp emerged from Monday’s game with only sore ribs as a result of his dive for a fly ball in the eighth inning. That’s better than the alternative, of course.
Crisp felt so well that he started Tuesday’s game. manager Bob Melvin said he might be inclined to give Crisp the day off Wednesday, in part because the A’s play a day game on the heels of a night game.
“He’s a guy, based on our experiences here with him, (that) plays at a very high level, he plays hard, he’s always diving and on the ground,” Melvin said. “We got to make sure that he’s healthy to get through the season.”
Crisp had an X-ray on his ribs after Monday’s game. The X-ray returned negative, Melvin said. He also has battled wrist and hamstring injuries the first part of the season.
– Michael Choice, the A’s first-round pick from 2010, batted leadoff for the Rangers on Tuesday night in a rare start.
Choice replaced the injured Shin-Soo Choo atop the order, and he played left field.
The A’s traded Choice to the Rangers for outfielder Craig Gentry during the offseason, three months after Choice made his major-league debut against the Rangers at the Coliseum.
– Rangers left-hander Martin Perez made his first major-league start against the A’s almost two years ago. On Wednesday, the A’s face Perez again. Only this time, Perez has matured into one of the game’s top prospects.
The A’s counter with their top prospect, Sonny Gray, in a game between two pitchers with almost identical stats this season. Perez and Gray are 3-0, though Gray’s 1.80 ERA is a shade better than Martin’s (1.86).
“Yeah, no doubt about it,” Melvin said, when asked about the hype surrounding the marquee pairing. “Two youngsters, one left-handed, one right-handed, and they’ll probably match up a few times over the years coming up. … If you are looking at the matchups for this series, you’re probably looking at that one to be the closest as far as pitching matchup goes.“
– Reliever Eric O’Flaherty ramped up his rehab Tuesday with his most intensive bullpen session to date.
Melvin said O’Flaherty looked “really good” while throwing all his pitches from the regulation 60 feet, 6 inches, both firsts since O’Flaherty started throwing in his recovery from elbow surgery.
“As a matter of fact, I asked him if he’s got an inning in him today,” Melvin said. It’s the first time he threw 35 pitches, with the catcher all the way back, breaking ball, he threw everything. … It was pretty impressive.”
Regardless how well O’Flaherty feels, he isn’t eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list until May 29.
– Two interesting stats, courtesy of A’s baseball information manager Mike Selleck:
One, catcher John Jaso on Monday became the first catcher since at least 1914 with four strikeouts and a stolen base in a nine-inning game. Two, A’s pitcher Dan Straily has gone 38 straight starts of at least three innings and without allowing more than eight hits, the longest by an A’s pitcher since at least 1914.