6/10/2014 10:00 P.M. ET
Welch's death takes toll on A's clubhouse
By Earl Bloom / Special to MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- The death of former A's right-hander Bob Welch, 57, hit the current Major League staff very hard.
A's third-base coach Mike Gallego and pitching coach Curt Young, former A's teammates of Welch, were so distraught, they declined to speak.
"There's a lot of guys having a tough day," manager Bob Melvin said on Tuesday, hours after the announcement of Welch's death on Monday night in Seal Beach, Calif. "Those guys are like brothers."
Melvin, who said he got to know Welch well when they were coaches on the 2001 D-backs, said the 1990 American League Cy Young winner was "one of the greatest guys that's ever been on any team. As genuine a guy as you'll ever meet. A class human being."
Welch won 27 games for the A's in 1990. No pitcher in Major League Baseball has won as many as 25 since.
"It hit me hard ... real hard," A's hitting coach Chili Davis said. "He was a special person. It reminds me of when Kirby [Puckett] passed away."
Davis and Welch were never teammates, but they competed against one another often. When Davis was with the Giants and the Angels, and Welch was with the Dodgers and A's, a friendship grew.
"I just got to see Bob in Spring Training," Davis said. "I think we golfed together the last time. I loved it when he was in the locker room, when he was on the bench with us. He was a fun guy, a great guy.
"When I was with the Giants and he was with the Dodgers, I got to know him, off the field. Even though our teams were rivals, I got to know him pretty well. As competitors, we had a lot of respect for one another. I'll tell you, though, he wasn't a bundle of joy to face."
Welch worked for the A's as a special instructor in recent years, visiting Minor League teams and attending Spring Training.
Left-handed reliever Sean Doolittle worked with Welch when Doolittle converted from first base to pitching late in the 2011 season.
"He was so positive and up-beat, even when he was working with players at Single-A," Doolittle said. "You could see the passion Bob Welch had for the game by the way he loved working with young pitchers. I was one of those, and I soaked it up."
Donaldson, Lowrie working out the kinks
ANAHEIM -- The A's went into Tuesday's game at Angel Stadium with two key offensive contributors, third baseman Josh Donaldson and shortstop Jed Lowrie, sputtering at the plate.
Donaldson was hitless in his past 16 at-bats, and was just 4-for-30 with two RBIs on the road trip that concludes Wednesday. Lowrie was hitless in his past 16 at-bats, and just 3-for-24 with two RBIs on the trip. Both participated in early batting practice, supervised by hitting coach Chili Davis, before the game against the Angels.
"We have some guys struggling now," manager Bob Melvin said. "We're not going to be perfect throughout the season. We're still a good offensive club."
Davis said that the two don't have any serious flaws and are just going through what all hitters endure during the long season. He said the cases of their struggles are different, however, because of their hitting styles.
"There's really not anything really wrong with either of them," Davis said. "Jed's problem mostly is that he's run into a little bit of bad luck here. He's hitting balls right at people.
"As for Josh, what I liked today when he took early hitting, is that he went out and did exactly what he's supposed to do. Not many hit the same style as Josh does, with that leg lift. The most important thing for him is, he's got to be under control. When he goes to lift his leg, his timing has to be right so that he sees the ball, and what direction he wants to put it.
"Everybody goes through this. In this game, if you have two really good months out of six months, you're probably going to have really good numbers. The rest of the time, you're just out there trying to minimize the damage."
• A's left-hander Fernando Abad was fined $750 by MLB for his part in the Manny Machado incident Sunday at Baltimore. Machado was suspended five games for throwing his bat after two close Abad pitches.
Earl Bloom is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.