Coco Crisp was back in the A’s lineup Sunday after missing Saturday’s start with an Achilles heel issue.
The A’s got some news on the injury front Sunday. In contrast to the way injuries have played themselves out this season, the news was good.
Coco Crisp, who left Friday’s game early with an Achilles’ tendon problem and who got only a pinch-hit at-bat in Saturday’s 12-inning game, was back in the lineup.
So, too, was Khris Davis, who was winged in the 12th inning Saturday just above the elbow. The numbness having dissipated, he declared himself good to go.
And then there was the case of Sonny Gray, who was activated off the disabled list to make Sunday’s start against the Astros. He was sidelined two weeks ago by a right trapezius injury, but that seems to be behind him and the only question seems to be how deep into the game will he be able to get after 15 days off.
Gray was down to throw about 80 pitches when he was scheduled to start Sunday with Class-A Stockton. That hasn’t changed much now that the A’s needed him to start in the big leagues.
“We’ll see, it’ll be somewhere in the vicinity, depending on how he gets there and on the inning,’’ manager Bob Melvin said. “I do have a pretty deep bullpen today.’’
Melvin said of Crisp “I doubt he’s 100 percent,’’ but it was a positive sign that Crisp was playing because as recently as Saturday the manager was speculating that Crisp might need Sunday off.
As for Davis, he was in the lineup provisionally. He was hit on a nerve above the left elbow and briefly lost feeling in his hand Saturday night. He proclaimed himself ready to go, but the A’s put him through a workout in the batting cage to make sure all was well. If not, Melvin said he was prepared to make some changes.
–Liam Hendriks reportedly felt good after his simulated game with the Stockton Ports. “He was encouraged,’’ Melvin said. “It had been a while since he’d felt really good.’’ Hendriks threw to hitters with extra intensity and came out of the day happy with the progress he’s been making.
–Rotation candidate Henderson Alvarez threw 35 pitches in a bullpen session Saturday. The A’s are mulling over what is next for Alvarez, who is trying to come back after having shoulder surgery last July. It will probably involve him facing hitters, either in a simulated game or on an injury rehab assignment.
–Rich Hill, skipped in the rotation this weekend because of a mild left groin strain, is down to throw a bullpen session Wednesday in Milwaukee, but it’s not clear yet what date next weekend he will return to the rotation in Cincinnati. Because the A’s have off days Monday and Thursday, Melvin and pitching coach have leeway in moving the starters around and assigning extra rest, as needed. The best guess is that he would start Friday so that he and fellow lefty Sean Manaea, due to start next Sunday, wouldn’t be pitching on back-to-back days.
–The A’s were talking 24 hours later about the play Houston left fielder Colby Rasmus made to throw out Jed Lowrie, who was going for a double in the 11th inning Saturday. “When the ball was hit, I thought it would be a double fairly easily,’’ Melvin said. “He was in the right spot, made a great throw. It was a great play.’’
–Much has been made that A’s reliever Ryan Dull has not allowed any of his 21 inherited runners to score, but more than that, hitters are 0-for-32 against him with men in scoring position.
–Reliever Sean Doolittle is on a major streak with one urn allowed in his last 12 games over 11.1 innings. He not only has a 0.79 over that stretch, but he has recorded 20 strikeouts while walking just two, one of those intentional.