A’s finally get Crisp off the DL for season debut
AP Baseball Writer
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Coco Crisp is ready to make his long-awaited debut with the Oakland Athletics.
The A’s activated their new center fielder and leadoff man Friday and he was in the lineup for the team’s interleague opener against the San Francisco Giants in the Bay Bridge Series.
Crisp came off the DL a day earlier than expected just because manager Bob Geren was convinced his broken left pinkie finger is fully healed after two rehab games for Class-A Stockton.
“We’re all excited about that,” Geren said of finally seeing Crisp in center field. “His body feels great. He swung the bat well down there and feels like his timing is on. … Our offense has been up and down the last week or 10 days. Having somebody to jump-start it will be nice.”
The A’s optioned catcher Landon Powell to Triple-A Sacramento to clear roster space for Crisp’s return. Second baseman Mark Ellis, recovering from a strained left hamstring that landed him on the DL on April 21, was set to play nine innings for Sacramento and could be activated as soon as Saturday or in a couple of days.
“With his leg injury, he had to play nine innings to make sure he’s ready,” Geren said.
The 30-year-old Crisp, a switch-hitter in his ninth major league season with his fourth team, was injured April 2 in the third inning of an exhibition game against the Giants when he was caught stealing at second base. It’s been a while since he’s been in a big league game. Crisp missed the final 3 1/2 months of last season for Kansas City following surgeries on both of his shoulders.
Because Crisp had an injury to his hand, he was able to keep his legs in shape and continue running while he was sidelined.
“I’m excited and I’m nervous,” Crisp said. “I got my timing back right away.”
With Crisp back, Rajai Davis moved from center to left Friday and Jack Cust was the designated hitter. Eric Chavez will be the regular DH against right-handed starters and Cust and Davis will share duties in left based on matchups.
Also Friday, the A’s released righty reliever Chad Gaudin, who was designated for assignment May 16, and outrighted right-hander Edwar Ramirez to Triple-A Sacramento.