One day before the A’s fly as a group back to the Bay Area for the Bay Bridge Series and then the start of the season, the A’s find themselves scattered around the Valley of the Sun.
Because of their desire to have left fielder Coco Crisp (right elbow) and Josh Reddick (right oblique) play in a more contained manner Tuesday, they will have them play in a camp game in Mesa’s Fitch Park against minor leaguers beginning at 10 a.m. Crisp will be limited to swinging a bat in this, his first day of game-like activity since hurting his elbow and subsequently having a cortisone shot.
For players who are further along, like starting pitcher Sonny Gray and catcher Josh Phegley will play in the Triple-A Game about an hour later against minor leaguers of the Arizona Diamondbacks on the road at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale.
And then bulk of the team will be in Tempe to play the Angels with Barry Zito getting his last spring start in an effort to extending his streak of scoreless innings past its current 11 and, along the way, perhaps land a job in the big leagues. There are expected to be scouts from teams looking to add pitching on hand.
The A’s don’t have a big league job for him, and it’s not clear if the former Cy Young Award winner would be willing to begin the season in the minor leagues.
Normally, manager Bob Melvin would try to take in parts of all minor league games before heading to the Cactus League game. But he’ll likely settle for watching Crisp and Reddick and then the Zito-led semi-regulars after that.
“We’re a little bit scattered today,’’ Melvin said. “There’s a lot going on.’’
Wednesday will be the opposite. With the team scheduled to fly out of Phoenix late in the afternoon, players will be allowed to arrive at the ballpark late so as to finish last-minute packing. The Cactus League finale against the Angels in Mesa’s Hohokam Stadium will be moved up from 1:05 p.m. to 12:05 p.m. to facilitate an early departure.
It’s been a long six-plus weeks and “we’re all anxious to get going,’’ Melvin said.