OAKLAND -- Coco Crisp has been back with the A's for three games but hasn't really been back. The A's center fielder is hitless in 10 at-bats with a walk since coming back from the disabled list, and manager Bob Melvin acknowledged that Crisp is "still feeling his way back a little bit" after missing two weeks with a hamstring injury.
"The urgency of getting him back was important for us, what he does not just production-wise," Melvin said. "Just having him in the lineup makes everyone feel that much better.
"It's kind of like the effect of (Yoenis) Cespedes. You feel good when those guys are in the lineup. Coco is our igniter and Cespedes, even when he's not swinging well, in the middle of the order -- we just feel better as a team when he's in the lineup."
Cespedes too is struggling at the plate -- 4 for his last 38 -- and Melvin said he thinks the left fielder is trying to do a little too much at the plate. An indication is that Cespedes has not drawn a walk since May 3, a span of 14 games.
"He's trying to be aggressive and fight his way out with aggressiveness," Melvin said.
Here's the full A's lineup today as they go for a series sweep against the Royals and right-hander Luis Mendoza:
And the Royals' lineup against A's right-hander A.J. Griffin:
* Norris gets the start at catcher against a right-hander with John Jaso still nursing a sore shin from being hit by a pitch Wednesday. Jaso said the shin still bothers him when he's moving around in a catcher's squat and he's day-to-day. Melvin said Jaso could pinch-hit today and that his "guess is the next couple days he'll be able to catch."
* Outfielder Josh Reddick took swings off a tee yesterday and "felt good" in his sprained wrist, Melvin said. Reddick is eligible to come off the disabled list Wednesday, but Melvin acknowledged Reddick probably won't be ready by then. Reddick will not swing a bat today, and after the A's are comfortable with him facing live pitching he'll likely need some at-bats in a rehab stint.
"I think once he starts taking batting practice we'll want to take a look and see how he's swinging," Melvin said. "My guess is (he needs to get) a few at-bats just to make sure you're comfortable letting him go."
* Reliever Hideki Okajima, selected from Triple-A on Friday, has yet to pitch for the A's. Melvin said Okajima could well see his first action today with a couple Oakland relievers not available for the series finale. Melvin didn't say who is not available, but both Sean Doolittle and Grant Balfour pitched innings in each of the last two games.
"He could be pitching in a prominent role, whether we're ahead of behind," Melvin said of Okajima.
* One fairly astounding note from the A's game notes today -- with their consecutive 2-1 wins over the Royals the past two nights, the A's have won back-to-back games scoring two or fewer runs for the first time since May 14-15, 1993. Today's starter, Griffin, was five years old.
-- Matt Kawahara