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Nunez likely to begin season on DL

MLB.com @JaneMLB

MESA, Ariz. -- Renato Nunez, nursing a left hamstring strain back to health, will begin running the bases next week, but is unlikely to be ready by the start of the regular season.

This means the A's can place him on the disabled list and delay a decision on the out-of-options Nunez, who suffered the injury in the club's second Cactus League game.

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MESA, Ariz. -- Renato Nunez, nursing a left hamstring strain back to health, will begin running the bases next week, but is unlikely to be ready by the start of the regular season.

This means the A's can place him on the disabled list and delay a decision on the out-of-options Nunez, who suffered the injury in the club's second Cactus League game.

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"It's unfortunate for him, and he came into camp in good shape, obviously got off to a good start," A's manager Bob Melvin said earlier this week. "He was eager to impress and have a good spring, and we're still kind of uncertain how long it's going to be, but it's unfortunate obviously."

Even when healthy, Nunez was facing long odds of a roster spot since the A's appear ready to enter the season with a three-man bench. He can play both corner infield positions, plus left field, but so can ultra-utility man Chad Pinder, and the A's would prefer to have a capable center fielder on hand.

Athletics Spring Training: Info | Tickets | Schedule

Right-hander Raul Alcantara is also out of options but doesn't appear to be in serious consideration for a roster spot, and will likely be designated for assignment. He made his first appearance since March 9 on Friday, allowing one hit in one inning against the Indians.

Video: OAK@MIL: Alcantara induces pop up, gets the save

Camp battles

Right-hander Daniel Mengden, a top contender for one of three open rotation spots, strengthened his case with a solid showing against the Indians, a game which the A's won, 7-3. Mengden allowed just one run and three hits -- including a leadoff homer to Bradley Zimmer -- in 5 2/3 innings, marking the longest outing by an A's starter this spring.

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"I was getting ahead, changeup-fastball combo was good," Mengden said. "I feel like everything is coming together."

Up next

The A's are prepping for split-squad action on Saturday, with lefty Sean Manaea drawing the 1:05 p.m. PT home start against the Mariners. He'll be paired with battery mate Jonathan Lucroy, who is scheduled to make his A's debut. On the road, right-hander Andrew Triggs will go to battle with the Giants at Scottsdale Stadium in a 4:05 p.m. PT meeting. Watch Triggs on MLB.TV or listen to Manaea on Gameday Audio.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.

Oakland Athletics, Renato Nunez