Bay Area Baseball

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April 15, 2013
Struggling Reddick gets night off as A's open Astros series

OAKLAND -- The A's starting lineup had a different look tonight for the series opener against the Houston Astros -- and not just because every player is wearing No. 42 on Jackie Robinson Day. Coco Crisp is back in center field after missing two games with a strained left groin. Josh Reddick is out after a rough series against Detroit in which he went 1-for-13 with seven strikeouts.

Manager Bob Melvin said this isn't a normal day off for Reddick. For one thing, he's still just a week removed from spraining his right wrist in Houston, so Melvin doesn't want to play him too many days in a row. But Melvin also said Reddick is "not swinging his best right now," and with the Astros starting a left-hander tonight in Erik Bedard, it provided a chance to rest Reddick, who could still pinch hit.

Reddick did not look comfortable at the plate against the Tigers after missing all three games in Los Angeles, and is 4-for-37 (.108) through his first 10 games.

"I think always the temptation when you come back from an injury is to try to do too much too early," Melvin said. "And he's a guy who wants to be there for his team, and may be swinging out of the zone a little bit right now to try to do too much.

"I think that's probably the way for a lot of guys when they're not swinging the bat well. They try to do a little too much. But again, it might only take one game where he gets a couple of hits and that confidence comes back pretty quickly."

* The lineup also has catcher Derek Norris batting second. Melvin said it's similar to how he sometimes used Jonny Gomes in the second spot last year, as a right-handed hitter that sees lefties well. Norris also entered today batting .429.

* A few injury updates:

Infielder Adam Rosales (strained intercostal muscle) could begin a rehab assignment as early as Thursday depending on how he feels making throws tomorrow. Melvin said Rosales "still barely feels" some soreness turning double plays and throwing across his body, but "if that clears up tomorrow, we're close to sending him out."

Hiro Nakajima (hamstring) is also progressing but the A's still want to see him run the bases before sending him on a rehab assignment. That could happen as early as this weekend, Melvin said.

Yoenis Céspedes, placed on the 15-day DL over the weekend with a strained muscle in his left hand, threw and did some running before today's game. He's still wearing a soft cast on the injured hand to immobilize it, but Melvin said he's "not in as much pain as he was the day after."

* Before first pitch, the A's asked fans to observe a moment of silence for those affected by today's bombings at the Boston Marathon. Before the game, coverage of those events was on TV's in the A's clubhouse, which includes several players -- including Reddick, Lowrie, Crisp and Brandon Moss -- who have played parts of their careers in Boston.

"Obviously our hearts go out to everybody in Boston," Melvin said. "These are the real impactful days. You just realize how insignificant what we're doing is. And those real-life situations that hit you pretty hard. Just awful. Our thoughts and prayers are with everybody that had to go through that."

* Melvin also had the following to say about Jackie Robinson, whose April 15, 1947, debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers was honored across Major League Baseball today with players all wearing Robinson's No. 42. Numerical rosters on teams' official websites were also altered accordingly.

"I've always been very aware of Jackie Robinson," Melvin said. "Not only is he one of the more impactful people ever in sports, he may be one of the most impactful people in our country, period. He opened a lot of doors and he's an unbelievably impactful guy in the world as we know it."

-- Matt Kawahara

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About Bay Area Baseball

Matt KawaharaMatt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee’s sports staff in fall 2011.
Email: mkawahara@sacbee.com.
Phone: (916) 321-1015.
On Twitter: @matthewkawahara.

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