Davis placed on DL; prospect Barreto recalled
OAKLAND -- The A's lost a wealth of power from their lineup after placing Khris Davis on the disabled list Wednesday.
However, the slugger's absence allowed infield prospect Franklin Barreto to rejoin the A's. Barreto, the club's No. 3 prospect per MLB Pipeline, was recalled from Triple-A Nashville ahead of Wednesday's matchup with the Mariners and immediately inserted into the lineup.
Right-hander Daniel Gossett was also promoted from Nashville to start Wednesday, while reliever Wilmer Font was designated for assignment.
Davis, who is nursing a Grade 1 right groin strain, hopes to miss the minimum 10 days.
"I'm including yesterday as one of them," Davis said with a smile.
The move is retroactive to Monday, meaning the A's could have Davis back as soon as May 31. The slugger leads the club with 13 homers and 38 RBIs.
"I could probably come back before 10 days, but I think they just don't want me limping out there," Davis said. "They want me at full strength. It's tough, because I know at any moment it could flare up, anything could happen, so I just want to make sure I'm healthy."
"We want him to feel that way, but obviously, we're not going to bring him back until we feel like there aren't any implications once he's out on the field," manager Bob Melvin said. "These things can be a little bit delicate to come back from. I am encouraged by the way he's felt the last couple of days, but we don't want these things to drag on, so we're going to make sure he's as close to 100 percent healthy as he can be."
Melvin plans to share DH duties while Davis is out. Jed Lowrie took his turn Wednesday, while Barreto spelled him at second. Barreto, 22, will also soon be seen at shortstop when Marcus Semien leaves the team for the birth of his second child, which is due Saturday.
Barreto's first stint with the A's this season spanned nine games in April, but didn't include an at-bat. He returned to Nashville and was hitting .235 with six home runs in 32 games at Triple-A.
"When you have a youngster like him here, you want to make sure you play him enough to give him a chance to have some success," Melvin said. "Last time he was here, he didn't play much at all, so it's good we're able to get him in the lineup right away."
Barreto's strikeout total is high -- 42 in 119 Triple-A at-bats -- but he's also collecting more walks this season, totaling 19 in 32 games after tallying just 27 in 111 games at Triple-A last year.
"I'm not really worried about the batting average," Barreto said through an interpreter. "I'm more worried about getting good turns at the plate, getting good swings on the ball and getting my base on balls.
"Every time I come up here, I try to do everything I can to help my team out."
Lucas to start Thursday
The A's have opted to start a reliever in Thursday's series finale against the Mariners. Right-hander Josh Lucas, who has made seven big league relief appearances, including two with the A's, will make his first career start.
Lucas threw 50 pitches in a 3 2/3-inning stint in relief of an injured Brett Anderson in Toronto last Friday, and he won't be asked to throw more than that Thursday.
"Obviously, he's not going to be out there for 130 pitches," Melvin said. "It's going to be more about just starting the game and maybe getting once around the lineup. We don't want him to have to do too much as a reliever. We want to make sure we keep him healthy, but he'll start the game, and then we'll have to use quite a bit of the bullpen again."
Right-hander Kendall Graveman could not be recalled from Triple-A because he was optioned less than 10 days ago.