That idea was nixed, Chavez said.
"They wanted me to come back to play defense and be the complete player they signed me to be," he said. "But I haven't been limited in swinging for the longest time. It's the one thing I've been able to do that's pain-free.
"But it's frustrating, because I know I could be hitting right now. I want to be helping."
Chavez's bat has certainly gotten manager Bob Geren's attention. While addressing reporters before the A's played Texas on Sunday, Geren paused when he heard a familiar "thwack" from the batting cage.
That was Eric," Geren said. "I heard that one."
Chavez admitted having difficulty watching the A's play on television, but the team's success has made it more tolerable. He said there have been no mixed emotions while watching Jack Hannahan perform well in his position.
"I want to see Jack play well, and [Donnie] Murphy when he's out there," Chavez said. "Who knows what's going to happen when I get back?"
Other than rehab assignments, Chavez now will accompany the team on a daily basis. The test of Chavez's readiness will not come from the quality of his swing or his ability to run the bases. Those aren't the issues. Rather, it will come from his ability to make game-type plays.
"Charging in and fielding bunts, diving," Chavez said. "It's the instinct plays defensively that I cannot control.
"It's the game situation where you just go. I can't prepare for that. That will be the next program."
It's also why Chavez believes he won't be ready by May 27. Even with a sense of cautious optimism, Chavez still remains limited in everything he does. He still hasn't tested himself, and every move he makes on the diamond is tightly controlled by the team's medical staff.
"No, I'll be in a long rehab, more than likely," he said.