OAKLAND -- The A's welcome another of their previously injured outfielders back into the fold tonight against the Royals in Chris Young, who was reinstated from the disabled list today and will start in right field. The A's designated first baseman Daric Barton for assignment to clear a roster spot for Young.
Barton, who was 3-for-21 in eight games after being called up from Triple-A, will have to clear waivers to remain in the A's organization. Melvin said the A's would like to see Barton clear, "but I'm not sure that'll be the case." He said Barton's average wasn't a good indication of the at-bats and defense Barton put together on this latest call-up.
Melvin said one factor in Barton being designated was that John Jaso isn't available to catch right now after being hit by a pitch on the shin Wednesday. Jaso is in the lineup tonight at DH, but Melvin said that made the A's more inclined to keep Luke Montz on the roster for now.
Regarding the other injured outfielder -- Josh Reddick said he started swinging a bat yesterday and hasn't felt any pain in his injured wrist. Reddick hasn't hit pitching yet -- and said he doesn't know when that will happen -- but was encouraged.
"It feels great to actually pick up a bat and not be able to feel anything," Reddick said. "I haven't had that feeling since April 6. It feels good just to be able to swing freely with nothing in there for now."
Young's return means Brandon Moss moves back to first base. Here's the full A's lineup tonight against Royals right-hander Ervin Santana, who had a lot of success against the A's in his career pitching for the Angels:
And the Royals' lineup against lefty Tommy MIlone, who's looking for his first win since April 15:
* Cespedes is batting .196, but hit several balls on the screws yesterday that were caught. Melvin said Cespedes' at-bats "have been getting better," and the outfielder doesn't seem to be getting down about the lackluster numbers.
* The A's have an interesting decision coming up when Hiroyuki Nakajima's rehab stint at Triple-A Sacramento ends, and Melvin made it sounds like a distinct possibility that Nakajima could remain the minors beyond that time if he doesn't show progress at the plate. Nakajima is hitting .229 (8-for-35) with three doubles in nine rehab games.
Melvin did say it seems like Nakajima, who started the season on the DL with a strained left hamstring, is "past the injury portion of it where he's not thinking about it." Melvin said reports are Nakajima is running at 100 percent and looks "much more comfortable defensively."
"With all the things that he's had to deal with, including the injury, it's getting him comfortable and getting him just playing baseball, and we're finally getting to that point with him," Melvin said. "But again I don't know what the decision will be once his day comes up, or leading up to it or whatever."
-- Matt Kawahara