Programming note: Rays-A’s coverage starts today at 6:30 p.m. with A’s Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California
OAKLAND – The A’s appear close to getting their leadoff man back.
Center fielder Coco Crisp took batting practice on the field Monday, and manager Bob Melvin mentioned him as a possible option off the bench in the series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Crisp has missed the past seven games with a strained neck that necessitated an MRI last week. He received an injection in recent days that helped loosen up the muscles in his neck and relieve some of the pain, but it’s expected that Crisp will be playing through some degree of discomfort for the rest of the season.
However, just having his presence back atop the batting order will be welcome for a team that enters Monday night having scored in just three of its last 33 innings. The A’s have scored three runs or fewer in four of their past six games, during which they’re 2-4.
“It would be nice to have a full bench, but more than anything, we’re looking forward to having him in the lineup too,” Melvin said. “I know he’s excited about getting back in there.”
In other injury news, first baseman Kyle Blanks (torn calf muscle) is scheduled to run the bases Tuesday and Thursday. If that goes well, he’ll head out on a rehab assignment shortly after that, according to Melvin.