Khris Davis hampered by calf strain

A's slugger day to day; Bassitt debuts; Barreto tested in OF

February 24th, 2019

MESA, Ariz. -- A’s slugger Khris Davis, who has yet to make his spring debut, is dealing with a mild left calf strain, manager Bob Melvin revealed Saturday.

Oakland’s designated hitter is considered day to day.

“We’re not in any hurry to get him in there right now,” Melvin said, “so we want to make sure he’s 100 percent before we get him in the lineup, so it may be a few days.”

Melvin said Davis has been bothered by the issue “off and on since camp started” and recently shut down all baseball activity.

“We felt like we were making some strides, then it bothered him a little bit,” Melvin said. “Whether the cold has something to do with it, could be, but we feel like it’s a mild thing.”

Davis led the Majors with 48 home runs in 2018 and has hit more than any other player since the start of '16 (133).

Bassitt takes his turn

The A’s rolled out yet another rotation candidate Saturday, with Chris Bassitt working one inning in a start against the White Sox. The right-hander was tagged for a run on a pair of doubles but “felt amazing.”

“This is easily the best that I’ve felt in years, so I’m really, really excited about this year and expect a lot of myself just because of how good I really feel,” Bassitt said. “I know this organization was excited for me before injuries, so hopefully we get back to that pretty quickly.”

“One inning is tough to evaluate right now, and that’s what we’re doing,” Melvin said after the 6-5 win, “but overall he threw the ball pretty good.”

Bassitt, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2016, was called up on seven occasions last year. He didn’t pitch during his first two stints, but he finally returned to a big league mound in June for the first time in more than two years. He put together a 3.02 ERA in 11 games, including seven starts.

A rotation spot won’t come easy for Bassitt, who has been in this situation many times before with the A’s; they have several other candidates vying for two open jobs.

“Unfortunately, it’s been my career here,” he said. “People can say it’s all about the results, but I have a lot of results to prove otherwise.

“It’s old, but at the same time it’s part of the game, unfortunately, and I’ve learned to not really accept it but understand it and just deal with it, control what you can control kind of thing.”

Barreto makes outfield debut

A’s infielder Franklin Barreto, blocked at second base, could be found in the outfield Saturday, as promised.

Seeking opportunity in a utility role after the A’s brought in Jurickson Profar to replace Jed Lowrie, Barreto played five innings in left field. His only other outfield experience came in winter ball, meaning Melvin and Co. were watching him for the first time out there.

“Not a whole lot of panic,” Melvin said. “You could see early in the game that the sun was a problem, and balls were kind of dying out there, and after the first ball he looked really good out there.”

Barreto’s main competition no longer resides solely at second base. Super utility man Chad Pinder is expected to land a bench job over Barreto, who will likely have to see more time at Triple-A when the season opens.

The 22-year-old finished 1-for-2 with a double Saturday.

Worth noting

• Right-hander Joakim Soria, who was slowed by right hip tendinitis, threw to hitters at the A’s Minor League complex on Saturday and is nearing game action.

Up next

Right-hander Aaron Brooks, out of options and battling for a rotation spot, will be on the mound when the A's open play against the Royals at Hohokam Stadium on Sunday, with first pitch set for 12:05 p.m. PT. The tentative lineup features several regulars, including Marcus Semien, Jurickson Profar, Matt Olson and Stephen Piscotty, who homered in Saturday's game.