HOUSTON -- Following Thursday's off-day, when the A's decided to option infielder Hiro Nakajima to Triple-A Sacramento rather than call him up when his 20-day rehab assignment expired, manager Bob Melvin said the decision was largely based on the roster he already has.
"I think it was just more about what we have here right now," he said. "We like the personnel we have here now.
"Certainly he is an option and will be playing all three positions to give himself more access here potentially, so a spot just wasn't open at this point in time. He has been swinging the bat better of late, but at this point we had to make the move, and it just wasn't in the cards for him to be here at this time."
A natural shortstop, Nakajima will also continue seeing time at second and third base with the River Cats, where he's hitting .265, while still making $2.25 million as part of a two-year deal he signed with the A's in December worth a total of $6.5 million.
The Japanese infielder suffered a right hamstring strain during the final week of Spring Training, leading to two months of rehab. Yet even when healthy before the injury, Nakajima struggled both offensively and defensively in big league action. When asked if Nakajima is now ready to play in the Majors, Melvin didn't sound overly confident.
"Certainly we initially envisioned that, and what we saw early in spring and then later in spring that the results weren't very good, but we think he certainly has the ability to, yeah," he said.
Healing Reddick feels good after taking some BP
HOUSTON -- Back at the same park where he initially suffered a right wrist injury that ultimately put him on the disabled list May 8, A's outfielder Josh Reddick took more than 20 batting-practice swings in Houston on Friday and said he "felt great."
"No issues," said Reddick, who is eyeing a return next week. "I don't feel anything.
"I was happy with the results. Biggest thing for me was if I could pull the ball. It's one thing I really wanted to test out because I wasn't able to do it before. It felt great. Didn't feel anything and still driving the ball that way."
That's encouraging news for Oakland's Gold Glove outfielder, who just last week mentioned surgery as a possibility if his wrist didn't heal in a timely fashion. Now Reddick isn't even thinking about an operation, instead forecasting a return to the A's roster sometime next week.
Reddick said if all goes well again on Saturday, when he's slated to take even more swings during batting practice, he'll play in a rehab game with Class A Stockton on Monday and another with Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday. How many at-bats he needs will depend on how he's feeling.
"We don't have a number yet," Reddick said. "Talked with [manager Bob Melvin] today. He said he wants to make sure I get as comfortable as possible, whether it takes five at-bats or 15 or 20 at-bats."
Oakland plays the Giants in San Francisco on Wednesday and Thursday, before hosting the White Sox for a three-game set beginning Friday. Reddick hopes to be playing in at least one of those series.
Lowrie continues to sit with injured foot
HOUSTON -- A's infielder Jed Lowrie was held out of the starting lineup for a second straight game on Friday while still experiencing discomfort in his contused right foot.
"It's a lot better," said Lowrie, hit by a Yu Darvish pitch on Tuesday. "It's not better to play, but the swelling has gone down. There's a lot more bruising, but I feel like I'm getting around on it a lot better and waiting for all the swelling to go away."
Lowrie said he did not want to speculate on when he'll return, noting "it's a day-by-day thing," but neither he nor manager Bob Melvin ruled out Saturday, when the A's are scheduled to play the second of a three-game set in Houston, as a possibility.
"If I wake up tomorrow and feel ready to go, I'm playing," he said. "My mentality is that once that inflammation is out of there, I'm ready to go, I'm playing.
"It's never quick enough, but I'm happy with how over the last two days really progress. I can finally put a shoe on."
"Maybe a potential start tomorrow, but I don't know," said Melvin. "It's kind of tough to forecast it. Certainly not a [disabled list] situation, though."