OAKLAND -- Coco Crisp is not in the A’s lineup for today’s series finale against the Rangers, a day after running into the center-field wall trying to make a catch and then making a catch on a headfirst dive on a separate play in Saturday night’s A’s win.
"He’s a little beat up again," manager Bob Melvin said.
Crisp has already battled a lingering neck issue and sore ribs this season as a result of his all-out playing style in center, missing a handful of games in May with the neck problem. Melvin said he was considering giving Crisp a day off today anyway, but the two impact plays Saturday night sealed it.
"He was progressing quite a bit with the neck. I’m not sure that helped yesterday," said Melvin. "After that, definitely the right thing to do."
Melvin said he’s used to seeing Crisp careening around the outfield, but as a manager he needs to help mitigate that style. Crisp has played in just 56 of the A’s first 71 games, and it’s often stated how important it is for the A’s to have him atop the lineup.
"He’s completely fearless out there, and as he gets up in age some he continues to play at the same pace," Melvin said. "So as I’ve said this year, he’s going to get his share of days off because we need to give him days off because of his style of play."
So without Crisp, the A’s lineup today against right-hander Nick Tepesch looks like this:
And the Rangers’ lineup against A’s right-hander Sonny Gray:
* Melvin said left-hander Brad Mills, whom the A’s acquired from the Brewers in a trade on Tuesday, will join the A’s in Oakland on Thursday but won’t be activated right away. The A’s want to get a look at Mills before deciding whether to add him to the roster as a rotation replacement for Drew Pomeranz (fractured right hand).
"We can work him out semi-taxi-squad type of thing for a day," Melvin said. "And then we need to make a decision after that."
The A’s need a starter for Saturday. Melvin reiterated that candidates besides Mills are Dan Straily, Arnold Leon and Josh Lindblom. Melvin said reports on Straily are that in "two of his last three (outings) he’s pitched pretty well."
Melvin said he hasn’t seen much of Mills, but that the A’s front office likes him. "They like his ability to get right-handers out, too. He’s deceptive in his delivery, he’s got a good curveball. He doesn’t throw particularly hard, but has a good mix of pitches."
* Crisp’s absence does make it easier for Melvin to put all three of his catchers in the lineup -- not that he needs an excuse right now. John Jaso, Derek Norris and Stephen Vogt went a combined 7-for-8 with seven RBIs on Saturday night, including Norris’ homer and five RBIs after coming off the bench in the sixth inning.
Melvin has been asked fairly regularly this season whether Norris could be an everyday player were he not part of the A’s valued platoon system.
"He has the ability to do it," Melvin said again today. "With the complement we have and being able to rest catchers to some extent and get our best matches, we feel like it’s a luxury and we’re in a good spot. But he does have the ability to be an everyday guy."