Bay Area Baseball

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June 14, 2013
A's pre-game: Donaldson out, Otero up, draft pick works out

OAKLAND -- Josh Donaldson is out of the A's lineup for only the second time this season after leaving yesterday's 18-inning game with tightness in his right hamstring. Donaldson said the hamstring "locked up a little on me" yesterday between innings and he and manager Bob Melvin felt it would be best not to push it. He hit in the cage this afternoon and was going to do some running during batting practice

"He felt a lot better than I thought he'd feel today," Melvin said. "Holding out hope that he can play tomorrow."

Donaldson's absence is mitigated some by Yoenis Cespedes' return to the lineup tonight at designated hitter. Melvin said he hopes Cespedes, who missed the past two games with hamstring soreness, will "be guarded enough running around the bases." Coco Crisp, who pinch hit yesterday but is still feeling soreness in his heel, is out.

Here's the A's lineup against Mariners left-hander Joe Saunders:

CF Young
LF Smith
SS Lowrie
DH Cespedes
1B Freiman
C Norris
RF Reddick
3B Rosales
2B Sogard

And the Mariners' lineup against A's left-hander Tommy Milone:

RF Bay
2B Franklin
3B Seager
DH Morales
1B Morse
LF Ibanez
C Zunino
CF Saunders
SS Ryan

* It was a pretty busy afternoon at the Coliseum, especially for a day when the A's weren't even required to show up until 5 p.m. after yesterday's marathon win. For starters, the A's made a move to bolster their bullpen after the 18-inning game, selecting Dan Otero from Triple-A Sacramento, optioning Hideki Okajima to Sacramento and transferring Brett Anderson to the 60-day disabled list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Otero.

Otero has outstanding numbers in Triple-A this season: 1-0 with a 0.99 ERA in 23 games and 15-for-15 in save opportunities. A's manager Billy Beane said the scouting report on Otero is that he relies more on deception than overpowering hitters. "He wows you with results, not his stuff," Beane said. "Which is the preferred choice."

While he's been mostly closing for the River Cats, meaning a lot of one-inning appearances, Otero said he has been used to get four or six outs on a couple occasions and feels able to throw multiple innings if needed. Melvin said the A's could use Otero for an inning tonight depending on how the game goes.

"I have no problems going three or four -- or maybe 5 2/3," Otero said, nodding toward the locker of Jesse Chavez, who pitched the final 5 2/3 innings Thursday and will be off-limits for a couple days at least.

Otero, who debuted for the San Francisco Giants last year and pitched in 12 games, had a tumultuous spring. After the Giants designated him for assignment, he was claimed off waivers by the Yankees, who designated him a day later. The A's claimed him March 29, designated him on April 5 and sent him to Triple-A after he cleared waivers.

Otero said it helped that he ended up in Northern California and the Pacific Coast League -- familiar territory. As for his numbers in Sacramento: "I like to think I wasn't doing anything differently," he said. "I was just trying to command the ball just a little bit better to both sides of the plate, trying to use the two-seamer a little bit more with the same mindset I've had in the past of attacking hitters, trying to get early contact."

* The A's also announced today they agreed to terms with first-round draft pick Billy McKinney, an outfielder out of Plano West High School in Plano, Texas. McKinney worked out and took batting practice at the Coliseum this afternoon, with Melvin throwing the pitches.

"For a high school kid he didn't look like a high school kid," Melvin said. "He hit some balls several rows back using a wooden bat. Sometimes you can be a little nervous or something like that. He didn't look that way. You would've thought watching the ball jump off his bat that he was maybe a college player. So I'm sure he's got some good upside and he definitely has some power."

McKinney, who hit .372 with four homers his senior year at Plano West, said he'll head to the A's facilities in Arizona tomorrow. His batting practice session was a little lonelier than it might have been on a normal day -- with the A's arriving late, they didn't hit on the field -- but McKinney said he did meet Cespedes and Rosales on the field.

"Real nice guys," McKinney said. "I also met -- I'm not sure his name, but he is huge."

That would be yesterday's walk-off hero, 6-foot-8 Nate Freiman.

"He's a very nice guy, but he is massive," McKinney said. "I just like the atmosphere around here. It's just really warm and welcoming."

* Beane said moving Anderson to the 60-day DL doesn't mean Anderson has had a setback recovering from his foot injury -- just that Anderson was going to miss that amount of time anyway, and the A's needed to clear a spot for Otero.

-- 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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