Notes: Ellis ready for rehab assignment

Notes: Ellis ready for rehab assignment

SAN FRANCISCO -- A's manager Ken Macha said second baseman Mark Ellis will have a rehab assignment in Triple-A Sacramento on Monday.

Ellis has been on the 15-day disabled list since fracturing his right thumb against the Royals on May 31.

Macha said that Ellis is scheduled to play for five innings for the River Cats.

Shortly after the injury, athletic trainer Larry Davis estimated that Ellis would be out 3-6 weeks.

Macha would like to get the veteran in his lineup as soon as possible, but the skipper will make sure Ellis is ready first.

"It would be nice to have him available," Macha said. "We'll see how he's doing. ... I would like to see him swing the bat well."

Ellis has been able to take infield for more than two weeks and hasn't been able to throw or take batting practice until about the last week.

The 29-year-old is hitting .226 on the season with 11 RBIs and three home runs. He led the A's with a .316 batting average in 2005 after missing the 2004 season with a shoulder injury.

Marco Scutaro and Mike Rouse have been filling in for Ellis at second base. Scutaro is hitting .310 in June and Rouse is 6-for-21 since joining the team on June 9.

Chavez in pain again: A's third baseman Eric Chavez was not in the lineup for Sunday's game. Macha said that Chavez has tendinitis in both forearms.

The skipper said he hopes that the off-day on Monday will give Chavez enough time to heal and be ready to play in San Diego on Tuesday.

Chavez has played with a small tear in a hamstring tendon since the beginning of the season and has taken days off with back pain also.

"[The forearm pain] is totally unrelated to the other injuries," Davis said. "He doesn't feel like he can grip the bat well enough."

Chavez is hitting .255 on the season after batting .301 at the end of April. He has 14 homers and 46 RBIs on the year.

Bullpen moves: Macha said that Huston Street and Kiko Calero would not be available for Sunday's game against the Giants and that A's pitcher Kirk Saarloos would likely make a relief appearance.

Street has made 14 appearances in June and pitched in the first two games against the Giants. Calero also appeared in the last two games for the A's and has carried a big load in the bullpen with Justin Duchscherer and Joe Kennedy missing a bulk of games.

Saarloos hasn't pitched in relief since April 30 and was moved to the bullpen at the start of the three-game series with the Giants because the A's off-days on last Thursday and on Monday.

Saarloos was originally moved to the starting rotation when Esteban Loaiza was put on the DL and stayed when Rich Harden sprained his right elbow. Saarloos is 1-1 in June with a 2.57 ERA and has held his own against the likes of Johan Santana, Mike Mussina and Derek Lowe.

"He has been pitching great," said pitching coach Curt Young. "He doesn't deserve to be put in the bullpen. Unfortunately, with the two days off, that has to happen to give the others [pitchers the right amount of days off.]"

Young said that Saarloos is scheduled to return to his starting role on Friday against the Diamondbacks.

Up next: After Monday's off-day, the A's will open a three-game series on the road at 7:05 p.m. PT against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park. Barry Zito (8-3, 3.36 ERA) will look to win his seventh straight against Chris Young (6-3, 3.16 ERA).

Ryan Quinn is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.