3/10/2014 8:32 P.M. ET
Parker not making excuses for up-and-down start
By Tyler Emerick / MLB.com
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The way Jarrod Parker sees it, he shouldn't need any time to settle in when he's starting a game. From the first pitch on, he aims to be locked, loaded and ready to attack opposing hitters.
So even after retiring 12 of the final 13 batters he faced Monday in his third Cactus League outing of the spring, Parker seemed frustrated with himself due to his sluggish start in which he allowed four first-inning runs to the Dodgers, all coming off homers.
"I don't really need to do that, that's not conducive to the way I need to pitch," Parker said of settling in. "From hitter one, I need to be aggressive and have a good mentality."
Said A's manager Bob Melvin, "I like that, he wants to be on it right away. It's a good mindset to have. He had a tough first inning, but he pitched well after that."
Parker, who appears on schedule to start the A's Opening Day game on March 31, shook off the shaky beginning and finished the day working 4 2/3 innings, giving up those four runs on four hits and a walk. He struck out five batters, including the final three Dodgers he saw.
"I got a little more aggressive," Parker said. "I got comfortable and so I was able to move the ball around, get to my changeup, throw it for a strike and finish when I needed to."
The home runs Parker surrendered were to Andre Ethier, who smashed a three-run shot off a 1-0 fastball, and Juan Uribe, who took a hanging slider and deposited it over the left-field wall.
Taking into account the four runs Monday, Parker's ERA on the spring now sits at 10.61. He broke camp last year with a 7.45 ERA in five starts and went on to turn in a fine regular season, but Parker doesn't want to make any excuses for his results, even if it's only Spring Training.
"I never want to chalk it up to something like that," Parker said. "I'm not real happy, but there's time to flip the switch. Next one, I want to get through five, get into the sixth and start to getting to where I need to be. I need to put together aggressive innings. Everything else will follow."
Russell leaves game with strained right hamstring
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A's shortstop Addison Russell sustained a right hamstring strain Monday afternoon while running out a grounder to third base in the eighth inning of the club's 8-8 tie with the Dodgers.
A's manager Bob Melvin doesn't know the severity of the injury yet, but Russell left the field following the conclusion of the game on a cart so he didn't have to walk to the bus.
Russell, the No. 12 overall prospect in baseball, went 1-for-2 on the day with a double and two runs scored. In 12 Cactus League games so far this spring, he's hitting .280.
Top pitching prospect Ynoa optioned to Class A
PHOENIX -- As expected, the A's optioned top pitching prospect Michael Ynoa to Class A Advanced Stockton on Monday, marking an end to the 22-year-old right-hander's spring in the Major League camp.
Ynoa made two Cactus League appearances and although he allowed three runs on five hits and three walks over three innings, manager Bob Melvin came away impressed with the youngster's raw talent.
"The stuff is electric, I told him that," Melvin said. "It's all about him being healthy, getting a full season in and throwing strikes. If he can do that, there's no reason this guy shouldn't pitch in the big leagues at some point. That's how good his stuff is."
Ynoa, signed to a then-record $4.25 million bonus by the A's at the age of 16, has faced many challenges in his first few seasons of professional baseball. Elbow issues leading to Tommy John surgery limited him to just 39 2/3 innings from 2010-2012 and last year after being promoted midseason to Stockton, he struggled with his command as he walked 17 batters in 21 innings of work.
Still, Ynoa's explosive fastball combined with a big curveball and sharp changeup gives him the potential to become a frontline starter down the road.
The A's also optioned outfielder Shane Peterson to Triple-A Sacramento and right-handed pitcher Raul Alcantara to Double-A Midland on Monday, leaving 47 players in camp with the club.
• The A's hoped catcher Derek Norris (back spasms) might return to game action Tuesday, but manager Bob Melvin said on Monday that he won't be ready after all. Tuesday will be the seventh consecutive day Norris is held out.
• First baseman Daric Barton (hamstring) will be out at least another few days with a mild hamstring strain, said Melvin.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.