Jarrod Parker came through a 30-pitch session against hitters Wednesday feeling at the top of his game.
Jarrod Parker drew a larger than normal crowd for a pitcher throwing on the side in spring training Wednesday. It’s a measure of how much value the A’s place in his comeback from Tommy John surgery.
Parker threw 15 pitches against hitters, sat for a bit, then threw another 15 pitches, all the better to simulate game action without actually putting him in a game. He’s not due to pitch in the big leagues until the middle of the season, at least three months down the line.
And Parker, 25, is feeling good a year and a day after it was announced he’d be undergoing Tommy John ligament replacement surgery in his right elbow for the second time.
Ike Davis will DH for the A’s in one of the club’s two split-squad games Friday as he recovers from back pain.
The A’s decided against having Ike Davis DH Wednesday in Peoria against the Mariners, opting instead to have him wait until Friday, Thursday being the club’s one off day of the spring.
Manager Bob Melvin said Davis, who has been battling back pain for over a week has been cleared to play, but the decision was to wait until the A’s split-squad games Friday against the Dodgers and Rockies to get him back in the lineup as the DH.
“We figures what’s the purpose of driving 40 minutes or an hour for two at-bats, then have a day off,’’ Davis said. “I’m feeling good, I feel I could play, but we’ll just start it up on Friday.’’
Elsewhere on the injury front, the A’s are having Josh Reddick (right oblique) start taking some dry swings (no ball contact). He hopes to hit off a tee in a few days, then progress to batting practice. Reddick’s goal it to get enough at-bats in the final week of the spring to be in the opening day lineup, but right now it’s a coin flip.
Stephen Vogt feels confident his body will let him be ready come opening day.
It’s been just over a week since Stephen Vogt returned to the A’s lineup, and that period since March 9 has been enough to ease Vogt’s mind about his future behind the plate for Oakland.
“This time has taken a load off my mind,’’ Vogt said Tuesday morning. I knew I was feeling good, but there are a lot of little things you don’t know about how you’ll do until you just get back there and do them.
“And it weighs on you.’’
Vogt has played in five games, has just one hit and a .083 batting average, but in the wake of last October’s foot surgery, getting his swing right wasn’t the first thing on his plate.
Ike Davis hopes to be in A’s lineup Wednesday, but he’s yet to be cleared by medical crew as he recovers from back pain.
Ike Davis hopes to be in the A’s starting lineup Wednesday, but it’s a coin toss whether he’ll make it or not.
He’s still getting daily treatment for lower back pain, a malady he has never experienced before this year and one that “can really hurt.’’ He’s better, but he’s not without discomfort.
The projection was that he would be in the lineup as the DH on Wednesday, then get the team day off Thursday to recover.
Ryan Cook has been rocked his last two times out, but he says that’s “just baseball” and adds he’s feeling good.
Monday was a tough day for Ryan Cook.
He faced seven hitters and got one of them out. Trying to protect a 4-2 lead in the eighth inning in Glendale against the Dodgers, he gave up four hits, walked one and hit a batter. One of the hits was a grand slam from Los Angeles’s Darnell Sweeney.
All in all, not a great day.
Spring training can be forgiving however. Much more so than the regular season.
Craig Gentry has seen more than his share of promising young pitching in his half decade in the big leagues. What he sees in A’s rookie Kendall Graveman is at a higher level.
“I’ve been so impressed with what he’s been able to do this spring,’’ Gentry said after Graveman pitched 4.2 scoreless innings Monday in the A’s 10-5 loss to the Dodgers. “I’m so fortunate to be in center field where I can see him spot all of his pitches. He’s that good.’’
Graveman was fortunate to have Gentry in center field Monday, particularly in the fourth inning when the Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez hit a bomb to dead center. It seemed like a sure double, but Gentry ran it down.
New Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said he didn’t get a question from the A’s players or staff about the state of the Oakland Coliseum when he met with them Monday morning in Hohokam Stadium.
The question was brought up by the media subsequently, however, and Manfred said it was an important issue but didn’t have much of substance to say about it.
Manfred did say that he would not go the route of former commissioner Bud Selig with his infamous “blue ribbon committee,’’ approach to dealing with the problems of the half-century old facility on the Nimitz Freeway.
And he said that after labor issues and time of game issues, getting the A’s settled long term in a new facility was at the top of his list, “in the top five,’’ he said.
He declined to talk about San Jose as a possibility for the club, saying the issue is “under ongoing litigation,’’ and seemed unlikely to use the best interests of baseball powers with comes with his office to deal with the problems of the aging, rickety Coliseum.
“I’ve talked with Lew (A’s owner Lew Wolff). I’ve met with Lew and the Fishers (John Fisher holds about an 80 percent stake in the club),’’ Manfred said. “I’ve talked with the new mayor (Oakland’s Libby Schaaf).
“Stadium issues are fundamentally local issues. The owner has the feel of the pulse there. MLB’s job is to be supportive.’’
Asked about the tensions between the A’s and the Coliseum’s other tenant, the Raiders, he said “the two issues are separate.’’
There are plans that would have one team or the other develop the existing Coliseum land for a new facility, although nothing is firm.
Manfred went on to say that it’s “important for the A’s to get a resolution.’’
Lefty Sean Nolin is healthy again, but not in time to be a contender in A’s starting rotation derby.
Sean Nolin knew coming in that he probably wouldn’t be a strong competitor for the A’s rotation in April.
He had the numbers, including a 27-7 minor league record with a 3.06 ERA, but he didn’t have his health.
The left-hander said Monday that he knew he hadn’t fully recovered from a sports hernia surgery in the off-season.
Sonny Gray will start opener for the A’s April 6, his second consecutive opening day start.
To the surprise of absolutely no one, Sonny Gray will be the A’s opening day starting pitcher.
Gray will be the first man to start consecutive opening days for Oakland in a decade, and it says something strong about the 25-year-old that he’s being according the honor.
“He’s made for this,’’ manager bob Melvin said in making the announcement Monday morning, shortly after making it official with Gray. “He’s talented and a real competitor. He loves the spotlight.’’
The A’s first-round pick out of Vanderbilt in 2011, Gray made it to the big leagues in the middle of the 2012 season, going 5-3 with a 2.67 ERA. More significantly, the A’s saw enough from him that he was given the start in Game 5 of the American League Division Series over 18-game winner Bartolo Colon.
Billy Burns is hitting .441 this spring as the switch-hitter bids to buck the odds and make the A’s roster.
One way to beat the odds is to beat up opposing pitchers, and A’s outfielder Billy Burns is doing just that.
He had two more hits and a sacrifice fly Sunday in the A’s 5-2 win over the Brewers in Maryvale Park. That leaves him with a .441 batting average and a team-best 10 runs scored.
The starting outfield is filled with Coco Crisp in left, Josh Reddick, assuming he’s healthy by opening day, in right and Sam Fuld and Craig Gentry splitting time in center field.
Should the A’s need a fifth outfielder, they’d likely go to Mark Canha, who is a Rule 5 player who will have to be offered back to the Marlin if Oakland doesn’t keep him on the 25-man roster all season.
Against that Burns has just been at ease. The switch-hitter lead the club in games played, at-bats, hits (15) and batting average. And Burns, who converted to switch-hitting only after turning pro four years ago, is being noticed.