Reddick optimistic oblique strain is a minor thing

Outfielder expects to be out only four or five days with injury

Reddick optimistic oblique strain is a minor thing

MESA, Ariz. -- A's right fielder Josh Reddick was scratched from a scheduled start against the D-backs on Friday because of a right oblique strain he sustained during morning defensive drills. Reddick believes it's a minor strain, and he said he is "optimistic" he'll only be out four or five days.

The 28-year-old outfielder missed two months of the 2009 season because of a Grade 2 strain in his left oblique, and that injury "felt like I got stabbed with a knife," Reddick said. "I went down to the ground and everything hurt -- coughing, sneezing, breathing. This doesn't feel like that one."

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zito's next Cactus League outing expected to come in relief

Zito's next Cactus League outing expected to come in relief

MESA, Ariz. -- Barry Zito's next Cactus League outing is expected to come in relief, but don't read too much into that.

In order for the A's to keep Zito on the same schedule as other starters, they've opted to have him next pitch Tuesday, the same day Sonny Gray is set to make his first spring start. So look for Zito to piggyback Gray and increase his workload from two innings to three.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Vogt passes final test, cleared for game action

Catcher feels no pain in surgically-repaired right foot

Vogt passes final test, cleared for game action

MESA, Ariz. -- A's catcher Stephen Vogt, rehabbing his surgically-repaired right foot, faced his final hurdle Friday morning and passed it with flying colors, running the bases pain-free to be cleared for game action.

"No pain. No discomfort. Fast," said Vogt, smiling. "It felt really good. It's a good day for me.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zito 'pretty impressive' in return to game action

A's lefty throws well, feels 'pretty good' after long layoff

Zito 'pretty impressive' in return to game action

MESA, Ariz. -- A's comeback hopeful Barry Zito was one pitch away from tucking two scoreless innings in his pocket. But even that one, a low changeup the Cubs' Mike Olt belted for a two-run homer Thursday, couldn't dampen an otherwise encouraging day for the adrenaline-fueled southpaw.

Back with the A's on a Minor League deal and pitching in a game for the first time since 2013, following a year-long sabbatical, the 36-year-old Zito flashed a lively fastball and a mean curve. He also weaved in a changeup that still needs fine-tuning during the two-inning outing, opposed by a brawny Cubs lineup headed by Dexter Fowler, Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro and Miguel Montero.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Switch-pitching Venditte continues to confound

Cubs' Fowler forced to change helmet after hurler elects to use left arm

Switch-pitching Venditte continues to confound

MESA, Ariz. -- Should Pat Venditte finally get a tour of the big leagues one day, after toiling in the Minors for years with his ambidextrous glove and switch-pitching ways, the unfamiliarity and sheer disbelief and wonder with which opponents greet him will gradually dissipate.

For now, the A's pitcher will continue to perplex -- and sometimes confuse -- them.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zito allows homer in A's duel with Cubs

Zito allows homer in A's duel with Cubs

MESA, Ariz. -- Manager Joe Maddon's Cubs debut ended in a tie.

The Cubs and Athletics played to a 2-2 tie Thursday in a split-squad game at Sloan Park in the manager's first game at the helm.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Back strain could sideline Freiman for 2 weeks

Setback might hurt his chances in battle for backup spot at first base

Back strain could sideline Freiman for 2 weeks

MESA, Ariz. -- A's first baseman Nate Freiman could miss up to two weeks of spring action because of a muscle strain in his back sustained from workouts, manager Bob Melvin said Thursday.

The setback puts Freiman at a major disadvantage in the competition for an Opening Day roster spot as a backup first baseman to expected regular Ike Davis. Rule 5 Draft pick Mark Canha, who must stay on the A's active roster all season or be offered back to the Marlins, seemingly now has the edge.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's schedule Gray, Kazmir for Cactus debuts

A's schedule Gray, Kazmir for Cactus debuts

MESA, Ariz. -- A's rotation leaders Sonny Gray and Scott Kazmir, held out of the first week of exhibition games to get some extra rest, are scheduled to make their Cactus League debuts next week.

Gray is on tap for a home start against the D-backs at 1:05 p.m. PT on Tuesday, and the left-handed Kazmir is slated to take the mound at Hohokam Stadium two days later for a Thursday meeting against the Mariners at 12 p.m.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Semien, Reddick lead A's hitting attack vs. Giants

Chavez pitches two scoreless innings; Canha slugs homer

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Marcus Semien maintained his torrid production, driving in three runs Wednesday to help pace the A's to a 9-2 victory over the Giants in a Cactus League exhibition.

Semien, who drove in four runs against San Francisco on Tuesday, contributed a two-run, first-inning single and an RBI single in Oakland's four-run fourth inning. The A's scored in each of the first five innings as they hiked their two-day scoring edge against their cross-bay rivals to 18-6.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chavez calms nerves in strong spring debut

Fellow rotation candidate Hahn happy with first Cactus League outing

Chavez calms nerves in strong spring debut

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Right-handers Jesse Chavez and Jesse Hahn, both strong bets to make the A's rotation barring disastrous springs, passed their first test in game action against the Giants on Wednesday.

An anxious Chavez started the game and compiled two scoreless innings, limiting the Giants to two hits and a walk along the way. He also struck out a batter in the 30-pitch outing, which included four ground-ball outs -- one of them a double play.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Awestruck A's marvel at Semien's hot start

Shortstop 5-for-5 with walk, seven RBIs in first two spring games

Awestruck A's marvel at Semien's hot start

MESA, Ariz. -- Marcus Semien has yet to make an out in six spring plate appearances, and teammate Ike Davis isn't speaking until he does.

"I don't even want to talk about it," a superstitious Davis said, smiling.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Crisp moving to left field in effort to stay healthy

Gentry, Fuld to form platoon in center field for Oakland

Crisp moving to left field in effort to stay healthy

MESA, Ariz. -- In an effort to help Coco Crisp stay healthy, the A's have decided to move the oft-injured veteran from center field to left field. Craig Gentry and Sam Fuld will form a platoon in center for the speed-centric A's.

According to manager Bob Melvin, the decision was made this offseason following extensive discussions with the front office, and it was relayed to the longtime center fielder shortly after he arrived at camp.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Butler's illness gives Olson spring start vs. Giants

Butler's illness gives Olson spring start vs. Giants

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A's top prospect Matt Olson received a surprise start at designated hitter for a road matchup with the Giants on Wednesday, after Billy Butler was scratched because of a stomach ailment.

Olson, who will turn 21 this month, finished 0-for-3 in his Cactus League debut but recorded his first RBI, grounding out to score Ike Davis from third in a four-run fourth inning. He also ripped a ball right into the glove of Giants shortstop Ehire Adrianza in his second at-bat, after popping up in foul territory in his first one.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's Korach missing some spring broadcasts

Radio announcer working to rehab 'significant' knee injury

MESA, Ariz. -- Longtime A's radio announcer Ken Korach is expected to be sidelined for the early part of the club's spring broadcast schedule while rehabbing a left knee injury.

In a letter addressed to the media explaining his expected absence, Korach described the injury as "significant" and said, "The goal is to get better." He had a replacement on the same knee in 2012.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

New shortstop Semien homers twice in Cactus League debut

A's greet Giants' Bumgarner with collective cycle in first inning

New shortstop Semien homers twice in Cactus League debut

MESA, Ariz. -- A's shortstop Marcus Semien made quite the first impression in green and gold, belting two home runs and finishing 3-for-3 with four RBIs in the club's Cactus League opener against the Bay rival Giants at Hohokam Stadium on Tuesday, which the A's won 9-4.

Three of those RBIs came against Giants southpaw Madison Bumgarner. Back on the mound for the first time since his World Series MVP performance, Bumgarner faced 10 batters and was tagged for four runs and five hits, including a two-run homer to Semien, with two strikeouts.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Venditte begins spring by recording an out with each arm

A's hurler shows off switch-pitching skills in Cactus opener

Venditte begins spring by recording an out with each arm

MESA, Ariz. -- What has become a routine act for Pat Venditte is an astonishing sight for those watching him.

The A's switch-pitcher introduced himself to the Cactus League on Tuesday, recording two outs against the Giants -- one with each arm -- as fans, and even teammates, ooed and aahed.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

A's optimistic about prospects acquired in Samardzija trade

Quartet of youngsters could validate Beane's acumen once again

A's optimistic about prospects acquired in Samardzija trade

MESA, Ariz. -- Do Billy Beane and the A's still have the magic touch?

It sure didn't look like it last October when they paid heavily to add Jon Lester, Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel for the stretch run and postseason and then failed to hold a four-run eighth-inning lead over the Royals in the Wild Card game.

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Parker focusing on command as activity ramps up

A's right-hander approaching second Tommy John rehab differently

MESA, Ariz. -- Jarrod Parker isn't just going through the motions his second time through Tommy John rehab. The A's right-hander is putting into practice lessons he learned the first go-around -- and from former teammate and master commander Bartolo Colon.

"I'm worrying about my delivery and hitting my spots," said Parker, who underwent the surgery a first time in October 2009 and again last March. "I think the first time through, I was a little lax on the command and it was the last thing to come back, so I want to make sure this time I have it right away and there's no hiccup and I can just go in with a solid heater.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yes, A's and Mills can go ho-ho-home again

Team returns to Mesa and Hohokam Stadium, where pitcher starred in high school

Yes, A's and Mills can go ho-ho-home again

MESA, Ariz. -- A new era in Hohokam Stadium history began Tuesday, as the A's celebrated their return to Mesa with a win over the Giants at the newly renovated ballpark in their Cactus League opener, following 33 springs in Phoenix.

It was a particularly special day for A's pitcher Brad Mills, who grew up in Mesa and frequented Hohokam for high school baseball tournaments. The lefty was given the nod to start the game, and he responded with one scoreless inning in front of several familiar faces, including his parents, wife and two young sons.

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MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

A's reconfigure infield after roster overhaul

Club looks to newcomers to fill significant roles

A's reconfigure infield after roster overhaul

MESA, Ariz. -- The Dodgers had an infield in the 1970s and early '80s -- Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell and Ron Cey -- that spent eight celebrated seasons together.

The infield of the 2014 Athletics didn't last eight months. Gone are Brandon Moss, Jed Lowrie and Josh Donaldson, the team's best player. The primary second baseman, Eric Sogard, remains in camp in an anticipated utility role.

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Lyle Spencer is a national reporter and columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Melvin, A's to ease Crisp into game action

Veteran outfielder has dealt with multiple injuries over past seasons

Melvin, A's to ease Crisp into game action

MESA, Ariz. -- The oft-injured Coco Crisp will be eased into Cactus League games, according to A's manager Bob Melvin.

"I'll probably hold him out the first few because I'm going to cut down on his workload," Melvin said Sunday.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hassan duking it out to find home with A's

Hassan duking it out to find home with A's

MESA, Ariz. -- Alex Hassan blended right in on his first day in an A's uniform, walking twice in an intrasquad game with his new teammates.

"Two walks, fits right in here," manager Bob Melvin quipped.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zito set to debut Thursday

Back with original team, lefty hasn't pitched in a game since 2013

Zito set to debut Thursday

MESA, Ariz. -- Barry Zito will be back in game action for the first time since 2013 on Thursday, when the A's lefty is scheduled to make his first Cactus League start in a road meeting with the Cubs.

The A's have another southpaw, Brad Mills, on tap for their Tuesday opener against the Giants at Hohokam Stadium. On Wednesday, it's the Giants' turn to host the A's in Scottsdale, Ariz., in another early spring match between the Bay rivals, with right-hander Jesse Chavez on the mound for Oakland.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Newcomer Smith excited for fresh start with A's

Newcomer Smith excited for fresh start with A's

MESA, Ariz. -- As if they don't have enough of them, the A's welcomed in another new face Saturday morning. Right-hander Chad Smith, claimed off waivers from Detroit on Thursday, arrived at Hohokam Stadium bright and early for his first day in green and gold.

Smith actually wore the colors as early as age 5, when his San Francisco-based aunt gifted him an A's shirsey. Just days ago, his mom recovered a photo of him wearing it. The timing couldn't have been more perfect.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Melvin impressed by defense in intrasquad game

Venditte among five A's pitchers to see action; club also mindful of pace-of-play rules

Melvin impressed by defense in intrasquad game

MESA, Ariz. -- The threat of rain didn't stop the A's from gathering for a four-inning intrasquad game at Fitch Park on Saturday morning. The defense greatly impressed manager Bob Melvin, but it was the umpire who stole the show.

Bullpen catcher Casey Chavez, brother of six-time A's Gold Glove winner Eric Chavez, didn't just play the part. He dressed it, too.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's top prospect Olson feels '100 percent' at camp

First baseman said he's at full strength after right shoulder injury

A's top prospect Olson feels '100 percent' at camp

MESA, Ariz. -- The past few months have been a bit of a whirlwind for Matt Olson, as the first baseman was named Oakland's top prospect and is also participating in his first big league camp.

However, the offseason wasn't entirely good news as Olson also had to overcome the first injury of his career in order to get to camp on time.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's hold situational hitting competition at camp

A's hold situational hitting competition at camp

MESA, Ariz. -- As the A's continue to get ready for the 2015 season, they spent Friday working on situational hitting, doing so with a friendly competition.

Craig Gentry, Josh Reddick, Mark Canha, Billy Butler and Sam Fuld came out on top over Ben Zobrist, Ike Davis, Brett Lawrie, Marcus Semien and Jason Pridie.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Melvin excited about new infield

Oakland will likely have four new starters around the diamond in 2015

Melvin excited about new infield

MESA, Ariz. -- Odds are the Athletics will begin the 2015 season with a completely different infield than the one that began the 2014 season.

It's extremely rare that a team replaces all four infield starters, and although Melvin couldn't recall a time he'd been around a team with so much turnover in the infield, he likes the way the A's are currently constructed.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's claim OF Hassan, place Griffin on 60-day DL

Oakland adds needed depth in outfield, moves recovering righty to make space

A's claim OF Hassan, place Griffin on 60-day DL

MESA, Ariz. -- Hours after manager Bob Melvin talked about the lack of outfielders the A's had in Spring Training, the team announced it had claimed outfielder Alex Hassan off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles.

"It's kind of similar where last year we had a lack of infielders, this year we have a lack of outfielders," Melvin said.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Change offers Canha opportunity to go home

Power-hitting OF/1B gets chance to stay in bigs

Change offers Canha opportunity to go home

MESA, Ariz. -- Mark Canha and his wife, Marci, always wanted to settle down in the Bay Area. A life in baseball, though, comes without the freedom to plan such things. So when Canha heard he had been selected by Colorado in December's Rule 5 Draft, after five seasons in Miami's organization, he again set aside that vision.

He only had to wait 10 minutes for it to become a reality, though, when he was suddenly on the phone with the A's, who had pulled off a quick trade (for right-handeder Austin House and cash) with the Rockies.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.