08/27/12 7:15 PM ET
A's take cautious approach with Inge's return
By Zack Meisel / MLB.com
The third baseman began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento on Thursday in his recovery from a strained right shoulder. He was eligible to return to the big league club on Monday, but manager Bob Melvin preferred to be cautious with the 35-year-old.
"We want to make sure that he has the proper amount of at-bats, that he makes all the throws," Melvin said. "He'll certainly say he can play and I know he wants to. He's probably a little disappointed he's not here right now, but we're going to make sure that he's prepared to play."
Melvin said Inge could rejoin the team "in the next couple of days" or perhaps when the A's return home this weekend. The veteran is batting .224 with 11 homers and 50 RBIs in 73 contests for Oakland this season. Josh Donaldson has stepped up in Inge's absence, carrying a .386 average in 44 August at-bats into Monday's affair against the Indians.
Donaldson's emergence played into the A's decision to ease Inge back to big league action.
"It does make it easier," Melvin said. "It gives us the opportunity to make sure he's 100 percent healthy when he gets back. A guy like him, he's going to tell you he's OK no matter what. He's a tough guy."
Blackley gets call to start Wednesday for A's
CLEVELAND -- Travis Blackley is the mystery man.
The Australian will take the hill for the A's on Wednesday as the club shuffles and reshuffles its rotation. Manager Bob Melvin chose Blackley with right-hander A.J. Griffin still rehabbing and right-handed prospect Dan Straily not eligible to return from the Minors until Thursday. The team has yet to announce a starter for Thursday's matinee at Progressive Field.
"We just felt like we're better off going with a guy who's more stretched out at this point," Melvin said. "He has done this a number of times, whether it's starting, long relieving. He's been really good for us in a number of roles. Not only that, but he probably deserves the start."
Melvin wouldn't speculate if Blackley would last in the rotation.
"You know how we are," Melvin said. "We're going to do the best we can with what we have at a particular time. ... He'll pitch on Wednesday and going forward, we'll evaluate as we go along."
After Bartolo Colon started a 50-game suspension last week for testing positive for testosterone, the A's have had to reorder their starting staff. Blackley has compiled a 4-3 record and 3.52 ERA in 18 appearances, including 11 starts. Blackley has bounced around the Majors since arriving on the scene with Seattle in 2004. He said he has never enjoyed a season quite like the one he is experiencing in Oakland.
"It's definitely been a blast playing here," said Blackley, who the A's claimed off waivers from the Giants in May. "From other experiences in other clubhouses in the Major Leagues, this has definitely by far been the most fun I've had."
A's deal Recker to Cubs for Minor League catcher
CLEVELAND -- The A's swapped Minor League catchers on Monday, dealing Anthony Recker to the Cubs for Blake Lalli.
The A's claimed Lalli off waivers. He had been designated for assignment on Thursday. The 29-year-old hit .259 with seven home runs, 40 RBIs and 20 doubles in 93 games for Triple-A Iowa. He batted .133 in six games for the Cubs.
Recker, who will turn 29 on Wednesday, was hitting .265 with nine homers at Triple-A Sacramento. He was designated for assignment on Aug. 20.
Southpaw Dallas Braden had surgery last Tuesday to repair a tear in his rotator cuff in his left shoulder. His left arm is currently in a sling. A's trainer Nick Paparesta said it is too early to speculate on his status for next season.
Infielder Eric Sogard suffered a high left ankle sprain while on a Minor League rehab assignment. The 26-year-old was working his way back from a strained back. Paparesta said Sogard got off crutches on Monday, but has swelling.
Reliever Jordan Norberto received an injection in his left shoulder last Thursday. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 21 (retroactive to Aug. 18) with left shoulder tendinitis.
"He is in the stage right now where we normally are with our injections," Paparesta said. "We'll leave him alone for five to seven days, let that thing calm itself down, then we'll strengthen him up and start a throwing process at that point in time."
On this date in 1982, Rickey Henderson established a new Major League record for stolen bases in one season after notching four against the Milwaukee Brewers. He would finish the season with 130 steals.