8/31/2013 3:30 A.M. ET
Melvin calls Suzuki's return 'pretty seamless'
By Jeff Kirshman / MLB.com
OAKLAND -- Even as a member of the Nationals, Kurt Suzuki kept tabs on the A's. He followed the box scores to see how his former teammates -- and friends -- were fairing on the other side of the country. It had been a little more than a year since he had been dressed alongside them in the green and gold.
Whether he'd ever play with Oakland again -- where he spent his first six big league seasons before a midseason trade last year -- he had no way of knowing.
"You never know, but I didn't think it was going to happen this quick," said Suzuki, who was traded back to the A's on Aug. 23 and homered in his return to the Coliseum on Friday night. "I was kind of shocked, but at the same time, I was pretty excited."
Suzuki was received favorably in the clubhouse and particularly with the pitchers, with whom he's well versed. He said it took only about a day to get on the same page with the team's hurlers -- even rookie Sonny Gray, whom Suzuki had caught in Spring Training.
"It's been pretty seamless," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It was a good pickup for us. When you bring in another catcher, there's always a transition period that you have to go through, and to bring back a guy like him, it's really not the case.
"There's a few guys here who he hasn't caught, but for the most part, he's caught most of our guys, and that's quite a luxury to have. He's fit right in and it feels like he never left."
Suzuki's addition provides relief to an A's catching core that has seen injuries to regulars Derek Norris and John Jaso. Suzuki will bat against left-handed starters, while Stephen Vogt will continue to get the nod against righties in Jaso's absence.
"To come back in the middle of a pennant race definitely is an exciting time," Suzuki said. "This is what everybody plays for. I'm just excited to be a part of it."
Norris to test toe with Triple-A rehab stint
OAKLAND -- Derek Norris is slated to play three games with Triple-A Sacramento beginning Saturday, and if all goes well, he could rejoin the A's on Thursday as he continues to recover from a fractured left big toe incurred last week.
Running, cutting, swinging and squatting, Norris said, do not cause him trouble. He took batting practice before Friday's series opener against the Rays and said the only movement that truly causes him pain is running at full speed.
"For some reason, God gave me the ability to have a high pain tolerance," Norris said. "It might feel worse to somebody else than it does to me. I don't know. I love this game too much to sit out any longer, especially with everything the team's going through and the playoff push."
Oakland's right-handed-hitting catcher hopes to start behind the plate Saturday, play as the designated hitter Sunday and catch in the River Cats' last game of the season Monday.
While his toe isn't fully healed, Norris said the pain is manageable, especially considering the A's position in the American League standings and recent stretch that has also seen fellow catcher John Jaso miss an extended amount of time because of a concussion.
Rosters will have expanded by the time Norris' 15-day stint on the disabled list is up, which could result in the A's having four catchers on the roster, including a platoon with recent acquisition Kurt Suzuki and Stephen Vogt.
"It's an exciting time and I feel like I'm an important piece to the puzzle, that I can contribute to this team and add success to this team," Norris said. "I'm not trying to rush anything. I'm also trying to look out for myself because it's important for me to come back healthy, which I'm trying to do and feel like I am doing."
Reddick receives cortisone shot for ailing wrist
OAKLAND -- Josh Reddick donned a Georgia cycling jersey and displayed a Georgia football helmet in his corner locker of the A's clubhouse in honor of the start of the college football season before Friday's game against the Rays, but he was also sporting a splint on his right wrist.
The A's right fielder received a cortisone shot in his right wrist two days ago and has been on the 15-day disabled list since Monday with a sprained right wrist -- the second time this season he's missed time with such an injury.
Coco Crisp received a similar treatment when he injured his left wrist while making a diving backhanded catch earlier this month. At the time, A's manager Bob Melvin said cortisone shots often make players unavailable for two to three days but ultimately accelerate the recovery process.
Crisp has since returned to the field to become one of the A's largest contributors. He batted .345 in seven games during the A's recent road trip after going 1-for-8 in the previous homestand.
"It certainly did the trick for Coco," Melvin said, "so we're hoping it does the trick for [Reddick]."
Jeff Kirshman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.