A's notes: Crisp off day a planned event; sunny days for prospect Gray?

A's notes: Crisp off day a planned event; sunny days for prospect Gray?
June 26, 2013, 11:45 am
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Sonny Gray, the A's top draft pick in 2011, is 7-5 with a 2.85 ERA, 90 strikeouts and 29 walks in 88 1/3 innings in Sacramento. (AP)

Programming note: Follow along with today's Reds-A's game with A's In Game Live -- 12:30 p.m. 

OAKLAND -- Coco Crisp is not in the A's starting lineup for Wednesday's interleague game against Cincinnati due to a family issue, according to Oakland manager Bob Melvin. It was a pre-planned day off for Crisp, the A's leadoff-hitting center fielder, though he is expected to be at the game and be available.

[RELATED: A's lineup -- Young leading off in Crisp's absence]

In Crisp's absence, Chris Young gets the start and will lead off.

Young is 5-for-8 with two home runs, four RBI and a walk when he's penciled in to hit first.

***

Right-handed reliever Pat Neshek was sharp Tuesday night in his first appearance in six days, striking out Chris Heisey on three pitches, all sliders.

Melvin said Neshek had actually been unavailable with a minor strain below his shoulder.

"That's why it had been so long since he worked," Melvin said.

***

The abrasion on backup catcher John Jaso's left palm is still painful enough to keep him out of the lineup, so Tuesday call-up Stephen Vogt was starting again, hitting eighth.

Melvin said the plan was to give Jaso a rest through Thursday's off day and then reassess his hand at that point.

***

The morning after, and Yoenis Cespedes' throw from left field to get Todd Frazier in your run-of-the-mill 7-4-3-6 put out on Frazier's single off the left-field wall was still a topic of discussion, as was the natural center fielder's continued development as a corner outfielder.

"The league is well aware of his arm," Melvin said, who added that Cespedes was "uneasy" when he first made the switch to left.

"And then all of a sudden one day, he got it. Completely."

Melvin said Cespedes has become a "plus-left fielder" and credits coach Tye Waller for helping with his development, especially with how he plays the caroms off the wall and how the ball spins off a left-handed hitter's bat.

***

Melvin, on Japanese infielder Hiro Nakajima's development at triple-A Sacramento: "He's playing all the positions and doing well."

Nakajima is batting .271 with four home runs and 13 RBI in 36 games.

Officially, the River Cats have two shortstops in Nakajima and Andy Parino, and two second basemen in Jemile Weeks and Grant Green. But…

"It's a bit of a logjam in terms of guys playing one position," Melvin said. "So guys are moving around."

***

Vogt, who has caught A's pitching prospect Sonny Gray in Sacramento, said Gray is as good as the reports filtering up from triple A.

[REWIND: Fresh from Sacramento, Vogt starts for A's]

"Sonny's an electric arm," Vogt said. "He's the real deal. He's got great stuff. He's got three pitches. He's still developing his command a little bit but his stuff is there. He's going to be something really special."

Gray, the A's top draft pick in 2011, is 7-5 with a 2.85 ERA, 90 strikeouts and 29 walks in 88 1/3 innings pitched over 14 starts for the River Cats, including a complete game.