MINNEAPOLIS -- A's manager Bob Melvin is hoping a bump in the batting order for Coco Crisp will equate to a bump in the opposite direction for Crisp's batting average.
The struggling outfielder entered Tuesday with a .156 average, including a .069 mark since being activated from the disabled list last week. Crisp has yet to hit a home run and has just five RBIs, leaving Melvin no choice but to take him out of his regular No. 2 slot in the lineup and move him down to the eighth spot.
"It's just kind of a break," Melvin said. "He'll hit second at some point in time. It's just more about giving him a change of scenery, taking the pressure off, that type of thing."
Crisp, whose place behind Jemile Weeks in the lineup was filled by Collin Cowgill on Tuesday, last hit eighth in the order in 2008 while with Boston. Twice he hit into a double plays in Monday's loss, and three times he left runners in scoring position, stranding a total of eight.
"[His at-bats] haven't been his best," Melvin acknowledged. "I think he'd be the first to admit that. You start to grind on it pretty hard, and he takes what he does pretty seriously. He gets on base and creates some havoc, and he hasn't been able to do that.
"I know it's bothering him, but we have all the confidence in him in the world and know it's just going to take a game or two to get back to doing what he normally does."
Cespedes could be taking turn to left
MINNEAPOLIS -- Yoenis Cespedes may be headed for a new role with the A's upon his expected return from the disabled list this weekend.
A's assistant general manager David Forst and manager Bob Melvin both acknowledged on Tuesday that they are considering keeping Coco Crisp in center field and shifting Cespedes to left field when he rejoins the team.
"I think, at this point, we're keeping our options open," Melvin said. "We'll see how he does there. He has played corners before. We'll just see how it goes. We haven't made any decisions on it yet. We'll go on the reports and do whatever we feel, as an organization, is best suited for where they should be.
"I don't think it's any secret that Coco feels more comfortable in center. We're just trying to get better and, if we feel like we're all the way around defensively better with that mix, it's certainly something we'll try."
Cespedes, who was slated to play in his second rehab game with Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday, has experience in left field and was considered a strong option to start there at the beginning of the season, before the A's decided to keep him in center field, in an effort to make his transition to the big leagues easier.
But the unflappable Cespedes has showcased impressive makeup in his brief time with the A's. And Crisp, whose below-average arm limits his abilities in left field, is struggling at the plate at the moment.
"We wanted to make [Cespedes] as comfortable as we could," Melvin said. "Based on the fact that he played most of his games in center field, we felt that was the right thing to do at the time.
"Now, getting to know him and who he is, are there little intricate things that bother him? No. He just wants to go out there and play. Everything's kind of a work in progress with guys you don't know, and you're constantly feeling out things to see what the best mix could be."
Added Forst: "With the mix of outfielders that we have and the roster that we have, it's easier on Bob if everyone can do a couple of things. It's nothing beyond wanting to keep our options open, as far as the roster construction is concerned."
A's taking their time with Manny
MINNEAPOLIS -- The A's are in no rush to add Manny Ramirez to the big-league roster, a notion confirmed by assistant general manager David Forst on Tuesday.
Ramirez is officially eligible to join the A's on Wednesday, when his 50-game drug suspension concludes, but instead will be added to Triple-A Sacramento's 25-man roster as he continues to garner more at-bats. Ramirez went 8-for-32 without an extra-base hit in his first nine games with the River Cats.
"It really is day-to-day," Forst said on a conference call. "There is really no other way to describe it. We've gone and seen him the last two nights. Bob [Melvin] has been in touch with [Sacramento manager] Darren Bush every night after their game, and I think we just want to make sure that we feel, and that Manny feels, he is 100 percent ready before we pull the trigger on this move. I don't have any time frame.
"I don't think we have any sort of goals, necessarily, in terms of performance or at-bats. I think we have seen him make progress, and we need to make sure that it's at the point where everyone feels he's Major League-ready. There's no number in mind for at-bats or hits. Once we make the move, we want him to be here to stay and to be able to contribute every day. We want to be 100 percent sure of it."
The A's appear to need all the help they can get offensively lately, having entered Tuesday's contest in Minnesota with a Major League-low .211 average. In their last 15 games, 11 of which have resulted in a loss, the A's are batting .186.
But Forst noted he's not too keen on making a short-term decision.
"Obviously, we would like to improve the Major League offense, but we're not even 50 games in," Forst said. "There's still four months to play. We're trying to make a long-term decision here for the team and not just rush into this because we'd like to score a couple of extra runs tonight or tomorrow. Obviously it's part of the decision, but we want Manny to be here to stay once he gets here."