Here are Athletics injury updates on Coco Crisp, Craig Gentry, Kyle Blanks, Nick Punto, Jarrod Parker, and A.J. Griffin:
Coco Crisp (possibly available off the bench)
While center fielder Coco Crisp remains out of the starting lineup with his neck issue, he will be taking batting practice Monday, and could be available off the bench.
Possibility that Crisp will be available on the bench tonight if batting practice goes well.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 4, 2014
Craig Gentry (Aug. 15-22)
Outfielder Craig Gentry, who went on the disabled list on July 28 with a broken right hand, is expected to return in about 2-3 weeks.
Beane said #Athletics expect Craig Gentry to be out "2-3 weeks", stressing the importance of Sam Fuld in the interim.— Adrian Garro (@adriangarro) August 1, 2014
Kyle Blanks (rehab potentially soon)
First baseman/outfielder Kyle Blanks, who went on the disabled list June 24 with a severe left cain strain, will run the bases Tuesday and Thursday, and will begin a rehab assignment shortly after if all goes well.
Blanks (calf) scheduled to run bases Tues & Thurs, and if that goes well, a rehab assignment shortly after. #Athletics— Joe Stiglich (@JoeStiglichCSN) August 4, 2014
Nick Punto (August 18)
Infielder Nick Punto was placed on the disabled list on August 3 after suffering a right hamstring strain rounding third in Saturday's game. According to the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser, Punto is not expected to miss much more than the 15 day minimum.
Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin
Pitchers Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin, both out for the year following Tommy John surgery, were seen beginning throwing programs at the Coliseum:
Jarrod Parker's return from Tommy John surgery hits big milestone: he played catch for first time today since surgery. #Athletics— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 4, 2014
Dr. James Andrews gave Parker the all-clear to throw during a visit after the All-Star break, and he made 25 throws from 45 feet today.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 4, 2014
Melvin says Parker playing catch today put a smile on everyone's face. AJ Griffin also progressing after TJ surgery, did sock toss.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 4, 2014
It is hoped that both pitchers will return in early-to-mid 2015.
Analysis: August promotions and demotions
The impending returns of Craig Gentry, Kyle Blanks, and Nick Punto could create a bit of a roster crunch for a brief period at the end of August before rosters expand on September 1. My predictions for demotions:
- Eric Sogard will be optioned to Sacramento with Nick Punto returns.
- Nate Freiman will be optioned to Sacramento when Kyle Blanks returns.
- Josh Reddick will be optioned to Sacramento when Craig Gentry returns, unless Gentry returns very late in August, in which case the A's will temporarily play short a reliever (probably Ryan Cook).
- John Jaso
- Derek Norris
- Stephen Vogt
It would be nice if there was a way for Billy Burns to not burn up an option year for 2014. Burns was optioned to Sacramento on July 31, and if recalled by August 19 would avoid burning an option year this year. In addition to the six above, Kyle Blanks and Craig Gentry are the other two Athletics who have options remaining.
On balance, absent a further injury this month, I don't see Billy Burns coming up to the big league club before September call-ups. Hopefully his progression in the minor leagues obviates the need for a 2017 option year.
A Scott Sizemore signing creates an active roster crunch in August
If the conversations with Scott Sizemore progress into a major league signing, this will create a significant roster crunch at second base if Nick Punto returns before roster expansion.
Perhaps releasing the struggling Alberto Callaspo, whose contract is up after this season, might not be such a radical idea if everybody gets healthy before rosters expand. Callaspo actually does have an option remaining but has the right to refuse assignment. Who knows if he would be willing to accept such an assignment knowing he'd be back in a week or two once rosters expand, but also at the mercy of another injury to a postseason-eligible player occurring to become eligible for the postseason roster?