OAKLAND -- A couple things going on at the Coliseum on this Saturday afternoon. It's the first weekend of college football, which had a few A's representing their alma maters with apparel before the game, none more fervently than Josh Reddick, who came out for batting practice wearing a Georgia cycling jersey -- and helmet. It's also a Green Day-themed fireworks night, with members of the band throwing out the first pitch.
"Will I be here for (the fireworks)? Probably not," manager Bob Melvin said. "Day game tomorrow."
Right -- and an evening game tonight, with A's rookie right-hander Sonny Gray opposing Rays righty Alex Cobb. Gray may have some fellow youngsters for company beginning tomorrow, when MLB rosters expand, but Melvin wasn't tipping his hand today about who might be joining the A's. He did say there will probably be three new faces joining the team tomorrow with "a couple more" on Sept. 3.
In other news, Melvin was asked about John Jaso's progress recovering from concussion and said Jaso is "pretty antsy about getting out and getting some swings somewhere." But Jaso still hasn't taken batting practice, though he did cage work before yesterday's game. Melvin said the A's "haven't ruled (Jaso) out as a piece for us in September," but as has already been evident, this is a gradual process of recovery.
It's Stephen Vogt behind the plate tonight against the right-hander Cobb. Josh Donaldson remains in the No. 2 spot, as Melvin said he wants to split up his right-handed hitters and he likes getting Donaldson up early in the game in a spot that -- when Coco Crisp gets on base -- can still be a run-producing spot. It's just the fifth start this season for Donaldson batting second and the seventh of his big-league career. Here's the full A's lineup:
And the Rays' lineup against Gray:
* Reddick was not wearing the brace on his sprained wrist today that he had on Friday. He still hasn't taken swings since receiving a cortisone shot in the wrist on Wednesday, though, and until that happens, Melvin said the A's won't have an idea of when he may be able to return.
* Brett Anderson, who threw three relief innings Wednesday in his first appearance since coming off the DL, could be available tonight, Melvin said.
* In case you didn't hear about this, Rays closer Fernando Rodney was reportedly locked in the restroom in the visitors' dugout for about 15 minutes during Friday night's game. Ultimately the door handle was broken to get Rodney out. A new silver handle was on the door this afternoon.
Rays manager Joe Maddon today said he didn't realize what was going on until players started pounding on the door and he could hear Rodney calling out from inside. At the time it was late in the game and the Rays were coming back from a 3-1 deficit to tie the score 3-3, though the A's eventually won 4-3.
"It was pretty funny actually," Maddon said. "We should've put him back in there for another two runs. We would've been fine."
Maddon said he didn't consider the possibility of having to stall the game to get Rodney out of the bathroom and onto a mound to warm up -- he figured it wouldn't take long to get Rodney out. As it was, the closer wasn't needed.
Melvin, meanwhile, chalked it up to another Coliseum-type incident and said, "When it doesn't affect things, it's kind of funny."
"I've actually been in (the home dugout restroom) a coupe times where I've had a little trouble getting out of there," Melvin said. "Not to the extent of last night."
Tough to manage a game you can't see.
-- Matt Kawahara