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Bassitt saw demotion coming after spring struggles

Chris Bassitt will have to sort out his game at Triple-A to start the season

Chris Bassitt will have to sort out his game at Triple-A to start the season

One of the reasons that the A’s were willing to trade Jeff Samardzija to the White Sox is that they were getting back a pitcher in whom they had great expectations, Chris Bassitt.

Things didn’t go as planned in Bassitt’s first spring with Oakland, and Sunday morning with still a week left before the season starts, Bassitt was sent down to Triple-A Nashville.

He began as part of a four-man newcomers’ competition to nail down two spots in the starting rotation. Sean Nolin was the first to bow out because he never recovered from an off-season sports hernia surgery. That left Bassitt pitted against Jesse Hahn and Kendall Graveman.

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Kazmir seems ready for season to start after dominating Sox

With just one start left in the spring, A's LHP Scott Kazmir has a 0.75 ERA

With just one start left in the spring, A’s LHP Scott Kazmir has a 0.75 ERA

It can be a mistake to trust the spring numbers. Scott Kazmir is the first to say so.

The A’s starter doesn’t put that much stock in his 0.75 Cactus League ERA, and said after his 5.1 scoreless innings against the White Sox Saturday “their guys are still tuning up, too.’’

While he’s correct in a general sense, on Saturday Kazmir was facing a Chicago lineup that could stand as a good facsimile of the one the White Sox will use on opening day. The Sox put out their best, and Kazmir simply toyed with them.

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If Crisp can play Tuesday, then he should start opening day

Coco Crisp is looking at a return to the lineup Tuesday if his elbow pain has lessened.

Coco Crisp is looking at a return to the lineup Tuesday if his elbow pain has lessened.

Tuesday could be a make-or-break day for A’s leadoff hitter Coco Crisp.

The A’s have him scheduled to start in left field that day against the Angels. If he’s in the lineup, there’s a good chance he’ll be ready to start the season.

If not, then Crisp could join the growing list of A’s who will begin the season on the disabled list. Pitchers A.J. Griffin, Jarrod Parker, Taylor Thompson and Sean Nolin, right fielder Josh Reddick and backup first baseman Nate Freiman are already headed there.

The A’s don’t think Crisp, who had a cortisone shot to ease the pain in his right elbow Tuesday, will join them, but the club would like him to get in at least three games to be declared ready to start April 6 against Texas.

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Canha keeps pounding out a message of power potential

Mark Canha, who went from Bellarmine Prep to Cal, leads the A's with four homers this spring, including a walkoff three-run bomb Friday.

Mark Canha, who went from Bellarmine Prep to Cal, leads the A’s with four homers this spring, including a walkoff three-run bomb Friday.

The more the A’s see of Mark Canha, the more they like the thought of what he could bring to the club in 2015.

Nothing has been formally announced, but it seems likely that the Bellarmine Prep and Cal product, a first baseman/outfielder who can also play some third base, has made the A’s roster.

He hit a three-run walkoff homer in the ninth inning Friday to lift the A’s to a 7-6 win over Texas, his team-high fourth homer this spring.

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Reddick coming to terms with idea of starting season on DL

Josh Reddick will start the 2015 season on the disabled list for A's as he battles back from a right oblique strain.

Josh Reddick will start the 2015 season on the disabled list for A’s as he battles back from a right oblique strain.

Josh Reddick loves opening day, the pomp and circumstance of it all. But when the A’s make their 2015 bow April 6 against the Rangers, he will be playing in a minor league game in Arizona.

Reddick had been hoping beyond hope that he’d be enough recovered from his right oblique strain of four weeks ago that he’d be able to be back for the opener. But manager Bob Melvin said Friday that his right fielder would almost certainly start the season on the disabled list.

“I’m a little bummed, but as much as it does stink, I understand what they’re trying to do,’’ Reddick said. “I can’t be upset that I’m missing five games. I still get Felix on my opening night, so that’s my normal opener.’’

If things go as planned, Reddick’s return would be Saturday April 11 vs Seattle, when ace Felix Hernandez would have his normal turn for the Mariners.

Between now and then the A’s plan on having Reddick playing nothing but minor league games so that they can post-date his time on the disabled list by 10 days, getting him back on the 11th.

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New dad Chavez happy with quality of spring work overall

New dad Jesse Chavez has been satisfied with his body of work this spring as he bids to return to A's rotation.

New dad Jesse Chavez has been satisfied with his body of work this spring as he bids to return to A’s rotation.

Almost everything has changed for A’s pitcher Jesse Chavez in the last couple of days.

On Tuesday, his wife, Crystal, gave birth to their daughter, Dannie Rae.

“It’s been kind of a whirlwind; it’s just a different feeling,’’ Chavez said. “Someone has come into the world and she’s yours. You want to be the best you can for her.’’

Chavez could be forgiven if he wasn’t quite on top of his game, a 6-4 A’s win. He didn’t make it out of the fourth inning, giving up four runs, just two of them earned, on seven hits and two walks.

He has a 4.50 ERA this spring, and while the numbers could be better, he’s content that he’s made his case for landing a job in the starting rotation. He’ll have one more start before the season begins.

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Melvin has the middle of the A’s lineup all plotted out

First baseman Ike Davis figures to settle in as the No. 5 man in the A's batting order.

First baseman Ike Davis figures to settle in as the No. 5 man in the A’s batting order.

Ask Bob Melvin, and the A’s manager will tell you that he hasn’t announced the makeup of the middle part of his lineup.

He hasn’t, not in so many words. But Ben Zobrist has made 14 starts, including Thursday against the Giants, and he’s been the No. 3 hitter 14 times.

Billy Butler has made 15 starts, and 15 times he’s been the cleanup hitter.

Ike Davis missed some time thanks to a back injury so has only made nine starts, but six of them have seen him bat fifth. He has batted fourth when he’s played and Butler hasn’t.

In the four games in which they’ve all been in the lineup at the same time, Zobrist has batted third, Butler fourth and Davis fifth four times. Melvin may not be speaking with his voice but he’s shouting with the pen that writes out his lineups.

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Billy Bean (not Beane) talks with A’s about inclusion

Billy Beane introduced Billy Bean to the A’s Thursday afternoon, and Major League Baseball’s first-ever Ambassador of Inclusion said the players might not have known who he was or what he was going to speak about.

Bean and A’s general manager Beane have known each other for years and played in the same Triple-A Toledo outfield in 1988 where, together with a former top draft pick Pete Rice they made what Bean proudly refers to as baseball’s “Rice and Beans Outfield.’’

Bean, who came out as gay in 1990 after he’d retired from baseball, is the point man on MLB’s outreach to the Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender (LGBT) community. This is his first spring training on the job, and he’s going to visit teams in both Arizona and Florida.

But …

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Scribner finding some freedom without any options left

Evan Scribner is finding there’s a certain freedom in being able to focus not on the where of baseball but on the how.

Scribner is out of options, meaning the right-handed reliever either makes the A’s bullpen or the A’s have to put him on waivers with the likely possibility that another club would pick him up. That’s the where.

The how is simple.

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Davis out to prove he’s not just a pull hitter anymore

Ike Davis added an RBI single and two-run homer to his output Wednesday.

Ike Davis added an RBI single and two-run homer to his output Wednesday.

Ike Davis is hitting .520 after having an RBI single and a two-run homer Wednesday but he says he knows one thing about his future.

“I won’t hit .700 this year,’’ Davis said after concluding his portion of the A’s 9-9 tie with Milwaukee. “Write it down.’’

It’s a good bet the left-handed hitting A’s first baseman won’t have to swallow those words. He’s going great guns right now, including a homer off the batter’s eye in Maryvale Park that accounted for two of his three RBIs. But nobody goes that great.

Davis came to the A’s in a deal with the Pirates this off-season with the reputation as being an above-average defender at first base with the tendency to pull the ball and hit for some power. Opposing teams know that and like to load up the right side of the infield with three defenders.

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