As the A’s and Giants began their annual Bay Bridge Series on Monday, both were close to getting a key player back from injury.
For the A’s, it’s right fielder Josh Reddick, who has been out since May 20 because of a broken left thumb. Reddick planned to join the A’s to open this series, but as of early Sunday, he didn’t think his hitting was ready, so the A’s extended his rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Nashville by one game.
Reddick then went 2 for 4 with a home run for Nashville on Sunday. He was in the Sounds’ lineup again Monday, then was scheduled to fly to the Bay Area early Tuesday morning and be in the A’s lineup Tuesday night.
“We wanted him to feel good when he got here,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “He wanted to put together a few at-bats where he felt confident, seeing the ball well. And then he had a really good game (Sunday).”
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The Giants will have to wait a little longer before reliever Sergio Romo is back in their bullpen, but they hope not too long. The right-hander last pitched for the Giants on April 10, and his return from a strained flexor tendon was derailed once by elbow fatigue. But manager Bruce Bochy indicated Romo’s return is close.
Romo threw a scoreless inning for Class-A San Jose on Sunday, and Bochy said Romo will have another rehab outing Tuesday or Wednesday.
“We’ll keep going outing to outing,” Bochy said. “But he came out of (Sunday) feeling good.”
Bochy said the Giants want to make sure Romo has no restrictions when he comes back. He has pitched on back-to-back days in the minors, which is a significant step, but the Giants will be cautious given Romo’s early setback and ensuring that, as Bochy said, “we’re not rushing this thing.”
Bochy said he is confident Romo will return before the All-Star break in July.
Giants notes – Shortstop Brandon Crawford was not in the lineup Monday because of what Bochy termed “general soreness.” Crawford will return to the lineup Tuesday.
Infielder Ehire Adrianza, who’s recovering from a broken foot, is “getting close” to a rehab assignment, Bochy said. The manager said he doesn’t have a date for that assignment, but Adrianza has been running on the foot and is “excited” by his progress.
A’s notes – Oakland claimed right-handed starter Nick Tepesch on waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers and designated left-hander Eric Surkamp for assignment. Tepesch, who began the season in the Texas Rangers’ organization, made one start for the Dodgers and is 7-2 with a 3.66 ERA in 14 Triple-A starts this season.
“We’re looking for depth,” Melvin said. “At some point in time I’m sure we’ll see him. But to get a veteran arm like that that’s had a pretty good history at times, whether it’s being in the rotation or the bullpen, it’s always nice to have a guy like that.”
Melvin said Tepesch will start at Triple-A Nashville.
* In the opener of this series, the A’s are facing Giants right-hander Jeff Samardzija, who spent a half-season in Oakland in 2014. Melvin has in the past remarked on Samardzija’s ability to fit right into the A’s clubhouse that year despite arriving in a midseason trade. As for facing him Monday, Melvin said: “I don’t think it adds anything to the game.”
AND FINALLY ...
Bochy will face an interesting decision in a few days. Madison Bumgarner starts Thursday’s finale against the A’s in Oakland. The A’s are scheduled to start a left-hander in Dillon Overton. Will Bochy forgo the designated hitter and let Bumgarner hit?
“Too early to commit,” Bochy said.
Bochy did say he was close to letting Bumgarner hit during the Giants’ recent interleague series at Tampa Bay. And the Giants are facing a dearth of right-handed hitters right now given injuries to Hunter Pence and Matt Duffy.
Melvin was informed Bochy hadn’t ruled out the possibility. His response: “Can’t say I blame him.”