07/23/08 1:02 AM ET
Ellis scratched from starting lineup
A's second baseman feels soreness in his right shoulder
By Mychael Urban / MLB.com
"I know my shoulder pretty well from what happened a few years back," Ellis said after the A's snapped a six-game losing streak with an 8-1 victory over the host Rays at Tropicana Field. "And I know this is nothing major."
Ellis also added that he banged his shoulder on shortstop Ben Zobrist's shin, sliding into second base when Ellis was picked off in Monday night's 4-0 loss to the Rays.
Ellis missed the entire 2004 season after a Spring Training collision with shortstop Bobby Crosby left him with a torn right labrum. He opted for rehab over surgery and was one of the top comeback stories in baseball while batting a career-high .316 in 2005.
Although the A's had been struggling mightily at the plate since the All-Star break and Ellis has been in an offensive funk for most of July, Oakland manager Bob Geren expressed confidence in the veteran infielder by writing him into the leadoff spot, prior to Ellis feeling pain in his shoulder, for the second game of a three-game series against Tampa Bay.
"Mark's been working real hard," Geren said of Ellis, who is 6-for-55 (.109) in his past 15 games. "He's been taking some better at-bats lately, too -- he had two walks last night. ... He feels like he's ready to star getting it going."
After playing catch with Crosby and taking a few ground balls during batting practice, however, Ellis ran off the field and told head athletic trainer Steve Sayles that he wouldn't be able to play.
"I was hoping it would loosen up after a few throws, but it never did," Ellis said. "So I just shut it down."
Geren said there were no plans to send Ellis for an MRI exam, which Ellis said would be redundant anyway.
"I already know what an MRI is going to show," he explained. "It's going to show that I have a torn labrum. They don't just heal on their own. ... I'm a little sore right now, but we'll see how it is tomorrow and go from there. I'll be fine."
The A's have used the DL 19 times this season and currently have six players on the shelf. Last year's team tied the Oakland record by using the DL 22 times.
Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.