05/06/2013 7:34 PM ET
Melvin gives the lowdown on injured A's
By Mark Emery / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- Without a doubt, the A's are thankful to have a healthy Yoenis Céspedes back in their lineup. They're still waiting for a few players to get better, though, and manager Bob Melvin provided updates on some of them on Monday.
Infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima, who's nursing a strained left hamstring, feels "much better," according to Melvin, and is on his way to Memphis, where the Triple-A River Cats begin a series on Tuesday. Left-hander Brett Anderson, who has a sprained right ankle and hasn't played since April 29, was supposed to run on Monday, and if that goes well, he'll come to Cleveland for a bullpen session.
"There's a good chance of that, but again, it has a lot to do with how he does today, running and putting some weight on the foot," Melvin said.
Outfielder Seth Smith hasn't missed significant time this season, but he has been dealing with tonsillitis recently. In his last 15 games, he has hit .180 and racked up 20 strikeouts.
Melvin, who joked about not wanting to shake Smith's hand, called Smith a "tough guy" and doesn't seem worried about his ailment.
"Certainly, any time you have some sort of an illness or something like that, it can take a little of the focus off what you're doing at the plate, but I know he's feeling quite a bit better today," he said. "But it's not like he wanted out of the lineup."
As for Coco Crisp, who has a strained left hamstring, Melvin is unsure whether he is able to run yet.
Outfielder Chris Young is out, too, with a strained left quad.
"When Yoenis was out, we were down a little bit. He has quite the impact on our lineup," Melvin said. "We're missing our leadoff guy, but we have other guys here to hold the fort down."
With Céspedes in the starting lineup, the A's are 13-4. Without him they're 5-10.
Blevins shows consistency in inconsistent role
CLEVELAND -- Jerry Blevins entered Monday's series opener against the Indians as one of only six American League pitchers to have appeared in 16 games this season. He leads that group in innings pitched -- 18.
But the lefty hasn't seen so much action without reason. He's been very effective, having assembled a 2.00 ERA to go along with 19 strikeouts and one walk.
"I try to do my job whenever they call upon me," Blevins said. "I've been used quite a bit, and that means the manager has faith in me."
Bob Melvin affirmed that before Monday's game, praising the ability and versatility Blevins (2-0) brings to the bullpen.
"He's just as good with righties as he is lefties, and a really big piece for us," Melvin said. "If I don't have [Sean] Doolittle one day, it's Blevins. If I don't have [Ryan] Cook one day, it's Blevins. If I don't have [Grant] Balfour one day, Blevins will move into a setup-type role."
Although Blevins' role hasn't been consistent, he has. Opponents are hitting .188 against him, and he has allowed just 0.72 walks and hits per inning.
A native of Ohio, Blevins always looks forward to playing in Cleveland. He grew up in Findlay and attended Dayton.
"I love playing at home. I always get to see family and friends that I don't get to see throughout the year," he said. "It's always nice coming close to where you grew up."
Blevins appeared in Oakland's final two games in New York. He retired all three batters he faced on Saturday but gave up two hits and a run on Sunday.
Mark Emery is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.