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Crisp still not in starting lineup, making progress in rehab

Center fielder Coco Crisp wasn’t in the starting lineup Tuesday for the sixth consecutive game. He still is recovering from whiplash-like symptoms after crashing into the outfield wall last Wednesday.

He appears fine batting-wise, as evidenced by his hitting back-to-back pitches into the right-field seats. He then lined one off the top of the right-field wall.

Craig Gentry replaced Crisp in center, with John Jaso filling in for Crisp at the top of the batting order.

 

– Reliever Ryan Cook is pain-free now, manager Bob Melvin said. Barring any setbacks, Cook next will resume throwing soon. He injured his right (throwing) forearm last Wednesday.

Melvin said he isn’t sure if Cook will be healthy enough to return to the lineup by the time his stint on the 15-day disabled list ends.

 

– Melvin said he’s still going with the closer by committee until further notice. He admits that Sean Doolittle has what it takes to be a full-time closer, but Melvin is hesitant to pigeonhole Doolittle into that role because of how valuable he is at times in earlier innings.

“He certainly has the stuff to do it but there are times when you feel like you need, he’s so good about coming in with guys on base, whether it’s the seventh or eighth inning,” Melvin said. “Sometimes those are the most important leverage situations of the game. That’s a difficult part in just waiting for the ninth inning for him.”

 

– Reliever Eric O’Flaherty threw 25 pitches, including a few sliders, from the Coliseum mound before Tuesday’s game. He is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list May 29.

He is recovering from an elbow injury that required surgery. Melvin said the plan for O’Flaherty moving forward is to throw off flat ground and then face batters once again. If all goes well, O’Flaherty will throw two innings’ worth in the latter session.

 

– Third baseman Josh Donaldson received the day off from Melvin. It’s a day well earned, too, Melvin said.

“No question, especially a guy that plays as hard as he does, dives around and every day gives 100 percent,” Melvin said. “No one is going to play 162 a year.”

He appeared in all of Oakland’s first 39 games and batted .261, with eight home runs and 27 RBI.

Steve Corkran