Braden to see doctor again about shoulder
Left-hander has less-than-favorable results after playing catch
OAKLAND -- Dallas Braden appeared to take a step forward in his rehab on Monday by playing catch for the first time, but the results of that outing weren't favorable.
The lefty now appears geared for another doctor's visit for further examination to receive clearer answers about a stiff shoulder that put him on the 15-day disabled list on April 18.
"He had some discomfort throwing, and we will probably send him back to see [Lewis] Yocum," A's general manager Billy Beane said.
Braden initially paid a visit to Yocum, a noted orthopedic surgeon, in Los Angeles on April 20, when he was told he suffered no structural damage and wouldn't need to undergo a surgical procedure.
Rather, the hurler was encouraged to simply rest and rehab to calm inflammation in his shoulder. Braden has been doing just that, including range-of-motion exercises, and had noted gradual improvement, which led to Monday's unsuccessful session of catch.
Braden, 27, was 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in three starts this season before the onset of his injury, yielding 18 hits while racking up 15 strikeouts and five walks.
It marks the third career DL stint for the southpaw, whose spot in the rotation has been temporarily filled by young right-hander Tyson Ross.
Crisp held out on Monday as precaution
OAKLAND -- A's outfielder Coco Crisp was held out of Monday's starting lineup for the four-game series finale against the Rangers as a precautionary measure by manager Bob Geren, who is easing Crisp back slowly after he missed three games because of a tight left quadriceps.
Crisp, who initially suffered the injury while running to first base in Tuesday's game in Anaheim, returned to the field for Sunday's 7-2 win over the Rangers, going 2-for-5 with an RBI while sporting what's become a popular Afro look, which was gone by Monday morning.
"Coming back from an injury, we're just being cautious with him," Geren said. "We'll monitor how the game goes. He was at a pretty high exertion yesterday -- a lot of running. So we just need to be cautious with him for the long term, and we felt like today was the day to do that."
The A's skipper noted he fully anticipates Crisp back in the leadoff spot for Tuesday's series opener against the visiting Indians. The veteran outfielder "could be available" for Monday's game, Geren said, but only if the situation deems it necessary.
In Crisp's stead, Mark Ellis was inserted into the leadoff spot, while David DeJesus started in center field, batting seventh against Texas lefty Derek Holland.
On Sunday, Crisp led off the bottom of the first with a ringing double to left, sparking a three-run rally, before driving in a run in the second with a sharp single to left.
Bailey set to face hitters on Wednesday
OAKLAND -- With a large handful of successful bullpen sessions behind him, rehabbing hurler Andrew Bailey is set to face hitters for the first time on Wednesday.
Bailey, 26, has been sidelined since mid-March with a right forearm strain. The right-hander is expected to face hitters at least twice before embarking on a Minor League rehab assignment.
If all goes well with both ventures, the A's closer could potentially return to the team by the middle of May.
With Bailey out of the mix, Oakland's bullpen has still managed to allow one earned run or fewer in each of its past 13 games. In seven of those, the relief corps hasn't surrendered a single run. The A's bullpen is third in the American League and seventh in the Majors with a 2.78 ERA.
LaRoche plays again for struggling Kouzmanoff
OAKLAND -- With regular third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff struggling on both offense and defense, Andy LaRoche received his second straight start at third base and his sixth of the season on Monday.
LaRoche has now started 13 games this year at four different positions and entered Monday's matinee boasting a .324 average. LaRoche has four hits in his past seven at-bats, including a pair of doubles.
"[LaRoche has] been swinging the bat," A's manager Bob Geren said, "so we'll continue to keep him in there."
Kouzmanoff, meanwhile, is hitless in his past five at-bats. However, he has hit safely in eight of his past 12 games and is 9-for-36 (.250) with five RBIs over that span after going 7-for-41 (.171) over his first 13 games. Kouzmanoff has committed six errors, the most in the Majors among third basemen.
Geren was asked about the third-base situation on Monday morning, but the A's skipper said he'll continue to play LaRoche at each infield position in an effort to hand other regulars a day off here and there, indicating that the team still views Kouzmanoff as its primary third baseman.
"I'll just mix and match," Geren said. "[LaRoche] will help everywhere."
The A's, who have utilized 22 different lineups through their first 29 games of the season, had David DeJesus batting seventh with Texas lefty Derek Holland on the mound on Monday. DeJesus entered the contest batting .125 against lefties, compared to a .258 mark when facing right-handers.