A’s utility man Chad Pinder took a significant step back in his recovery from a right hamstring strain by going through a series of baseball activities at the Oakland Coliseum on both Saturday and Sunday.
Pinder, who hasn't played since Sept. 12, is eligible to come off the 10-day injured list on Wednesday when the A’s will be playing the second of a three-game series at Dodger Stadium. A’s manager Bob Melvin said he’d like to get Pinder some at-bats before the playoffs while also being cautious about asking too much too soon.
“He’s been taking some light swings in the cage, trying to do some light running, playing some catch,” Melvin said. “So we're starting to get him ramped up. It’s still kind of tricky with hamstrings, coming back from those things. We’d like to get him back sooner than later, but you don’t want to reinjure something like that because that would be a significant amount of time.”
More reps for Khrush: Khris Davis got a start at designated hitter on Sunday, and one of Melvin’s goals for the final week of the regular season is to get Davis more playing time in an attempt to turn around a season in which he’s hitting .192 with two home runs.
“If he heats up, that would be fantastic for us,” Melvin said. “He’ll get some reps. It looks like we have some left-handers starting in the coming days so hopefully he gets lots of reps. His last two games were good. We’ve seen how important he’s been to this lineup over the years, and hopefully he finishes strong. That would be great for us.”
Mengden DFAed: Pitcher Daniel Mengden was designated for assignment after the A’s activated him from the COVID-19 injured list. He had a 3.65 ERA in 12 1/3 innings this season.
“We wish him the best,” Melvin said. “He’s been with us here for a while. My guess is he'll get picked up pretty quickly.”
Worth noting: Frankie Montas, Sean Manaea and Mike Fiers will start the three games at Dodger Stadium beginning Tuesday. ... The A’s bullpen entered Sunday with a 2.08 ERA, which is the lowest in baseball by a wide margin. Three Oakland relievers were in the AL’s top six in ERA: Jake Diekman was first (0.00) and Liam Hendricks (1.23) and J.B. Wendelken (1.23) were tied for fifth. ... The last time the A’s clinched the AL West with more than six games remaining was 1990 when they did it with eight left.