Khrush being held out with mild calf strain
A's slugger expected to make Cactus League debut Tuesday
MESA, Ariz. -- Khris Davis will be held out a few extra days before making his Cactus League debut.
The A’s slugger is dealing with a mild left calf strain, manager Bob Melvin revealed before Sunday’s game against the Giants. Davis expects to make his Cactus League debut on Tuesday when the club travels to Peoria for a game against the Padres.
“He’s got a little calf thing going. Just mild,” Melvin said. “We’re not going to push him along too early in camp, anyways. He might get that [Peoria] road trip.”
Davis is looking for a bounce-back year after his 23 home runs and .220 batting average in 2019 snapped a streak of three consecutive seasons of hitting exactly .247 with 40-plus homers.
The absence of Davis allows the A’s to get a better look at the group of talented outfielders in the system. Luis Barrera, who is ranked the A’s No. 9 prospect by MLB Pipeline, was in the starting lineup Sunday against the Giants.
“He’s a pretty aggressive player. They like him in development,” Melvin said of Barrera. “It seems like we have the same guy, a bunch of them. We’re not going to push our guys too much right now and this is the time to see, whether it’s Dustin Fowler, Barrera, Greg Deichmann. We got a bunch of them to see.
“The second-base position is one spot, but you also want to see some of your guys in development, and we haven’t seen a ton of Barrera.”
Barrera, 24, is coming off a year that opened some eyes as he slashed .321/.357/.513 in 54 games at Double-A Midland, earning a selection to the Texas League All-Star Game in which he was named the game’s MVP. A shoulder injury cut his season short and kept him from playing in the Dominican Winter League as he usually does, but he arrived to camp feeling completely healthy and appeared like it Sunday as he went 3-for-4 at the plate while also making a nice leaping catch in right field during the A's 5-3 split-squad loss to the Giants.
“He had some good at-bats off lefties and that’s what we’ve seen from him in the past,” Melvin said of the left-handed-hitting Barrera. “He’s got really good, quick hands and isn’t afraid to let it travel. There’s not a lot of panic in his game. Our guys like the way he handles the bat.”