OAKLAND – A’s first baseman Ike Davis will undergo surgery on his left hip and miss the rest of the season, manager Bob Melvin said Friday.
Davis will have surgery to repair a torn hip labrum Thursday in Vail, Colo., Melvin said. The A’s placed Davis on the disabled list earlier this week, and an MRI revealed the tear.
The surgery means Davis will finish his first season with the A’s batting .229 with three home runs and 20 RBIs in 74 games. The A’s acquired the left-handed Davis last winter hoping he could be a fixture in the middle of the order and against right-handed pitching, but the power he showed while hitting 32 homers in 2012 did not return.
Davis missed a month with a left calf injury in May and June, and said earlier this week he thought that might have exacerbated his hip problem. He said the sore hip limited his ability to run and generate power with his back side on his swing.
“I thought once we got him back (from the calf) we were over that hurdle,” Melvin said on Friday. “But I guess it got progressively worse. He wasn’t saying a whole lot about it, but recently I think the last couple weeks it got to the point where he just wasn’t comfortable either swinging or running.
“We started playing him a little bit less to see if it got any better, and it just wasn’t getting any better.”
With Davis ailing, the A’s have already been using Mark Canha more at first base, and Stephen Vogt can play there as well – though Canha’s splits are actually better against right-handed pitchers this season than left-handers.
Davis is on a one-year deal with the A’s and will be eligible for arbitration after the season, at which point Oakland will have to decide whether to tender him an offer.
▪ Sean Doolittle’s past few rehab outings have been encouraging, including striking out the side in scoreless innings his last two times out. He did so Thursday night with Triple-A Nashville on 14 pitches, and Melvin joked that he “was talking to (Doolittle on Friday) for a little while about the four pitches he didn’t throw for strikes – I was getting on him about that a little bit.”
Melvin then indicated that it might not be long before Doolittle rejoins the A’s. He said Oakland “will probably see him here pretty soon,” and when asked if Doolittle was still in Nashville as of Friday afternoon, Melvin grinned and said: “Currently.”
Doolittle has appeared in just one game for the A’s this season between his offseason rotator cuff injury and strained shoulder in May. He and Melvin have said that in coming back from the first injury, Doolittle didn’t look comfortable throwing pitches at full strength, and that he has shown more life during this rehab process. Melvin said he heard Doolittle has hovered between 90 and 92 mph, sometimes 93, with his fastball.
“I know he feels great,” Melvin said.
▪ The A’s on Friday reinstated infielder Tyler Ladendorf from the disabled list and optioned him to Triple A, where Ladendorf had already been playing rehab games. Ladendof was with the A’s briefly at the start of the season before injuring his ankle and having surgery in May, and Melvin said it’s a strong possibility Ladendorf could be back in Oakland when rosters expand in September.
“For him, it’s just getting comfortable after the injury and getting out on the field on a semi-regular basis,” Melvin said. “Hopefully he plays well enough to where we can get him back here.”
▪ Melvin said right-hander Jarrod Parker is “on the verge” of playing catch following his most recent elbow setback.
▪ The A’s lineup for Friday’s series opener against the Rays and left-hander Drew Smyly:
And the Rays’ lineup against A’s right-hander Chris Bassitt: