8/2/2014 1:54 A.M. ET
Chavez heads to 'pen as A's stay patient with Hammel
By Aaron Leibowitz / MLB.com
OAKLAND -- The A's could not have hoped for much more out of Jesse Chavez in the rotation. But in the wake of Oakland's trade for Jon Lester, Chavez was back in the bullpen on Friday, while a struggling Jason Hammel maintained his rotation spot.
In his first season as a starter, Chavez has pitched to a 3.44 ERA in 125 2/3 innings, while Hammel, traded from the Cubs in early July, has a 9.53 ERA in four starts with Oakland.
For several reasons, A's manager Bob Melvin chose to make Chavez his long reliever, at least for now.
"I told him, the way it looks is that you have the long role, and he's able to handle that because he can give you multiple innings," Melvin said Friday. "But based on availability on a particular day, I wouldn't hesitate to use him anywhere. Certainly gives us that kind of length that we really never had here."
Chavez resurrected his career as a reliever last year, when he logged 57 1/3 innings and posted a 3.92 ERA.
"All I wanted to do [this season] was step in and do the best I can to hold down the spot until somebody came along, and it happened," Chavez said. "I'm not upset, I'm not mad about it. You can't go down there with a bad attitude, because bad attitude brings bad performance."
Hammel, meanwhile, will receive some more rope.
"His track record would suggest we need to be a little bit more patient with him, and I think good things are going to come from him," Melvin said. "You don't have a 2.90 ERA or whatever it was and not give a guy a chance to prove himself here.
"Plus, Chavy's in kind of uncharted territory for him as far as innings go."
Fuld bringing immediate depth to Oakland's outfield
OAKLAND -- Sam Fuld was in Kansas City late Wednesday night when he learned he had been traded from the Twins to the A's. On Thursday, Fuld and his family drove six hours to Minneapolis to collect his things. When he arrived in Oakland on Friday, he found himself batting leadoff and playing center field in the A's series opener against the Royals
The A's received Fuld in exchange for left-hander Tommy Milone, who had been pitching in Triple-A. Fuld began the season with Oakland and played seven games before Minnesota claimed him off waivers.
With Craig Gentry on the disabled list and Coco Crisp battling ongoing neck issues, Fuld softens the blow with speed and strong center field defense.
"That was a 'right now' trade, because we were playing some guys out of position in center field," A's manager Bob Melvin said Friday. "He's been here with us, he understands the program here, he's excited about being back, he's been having a good year to this point -- so he's another great fit."
Fuld entered Friday batting .263 with a .356 on-base percentage. For his career, he is a .255 hitter against lefties, 20 points higher than his mark against righties.
The 32-year-old played on two playoff teams with Tampa Bay in 2011 and '13, though he didn't see much postseason action. He hopes to play a bigger role in Oakland.
"I've had two playoff experiences and there's nothing that compares to that," Fuld said. "Every player's dream is to be in a playoff race like this."
Crisp gets trigger point injections, remains day to day
OAKLAND -- Coco Crisp has received several trigger point injections in the last several days to help treat a neck issue that has kept him out of the A's lineup for five straight games. Manager Bob Melvin said Friday that Crisp remains on a day-to-day timetable.
The injections, designed to alleviate muscle pain, were a positive step, but Crisp did not participate in baseball activities Friday and is likely to rest again on Saturday.
Crisp had an MRI on his neck Monday that gave the A's reason to believe a disabled list stint would not be necessary.
"It's all about how he's feeling," said manager Bob Melvin. "It was an issue here, obviously, that he hasn't been able to play for a few days, enough of one to send him home and get him looked at."
Neck issues have been bothering Crisp for much of the season, but he has managed to appear in 80 games.
With Crisp out and Craig Gentry on the DL, the A's traded for outfielder Sam Fuld in advance of Thursday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.
A's release reliever Johnson
OAKLAND -- The A's released Jim Johnson on Friday, officially marking the end of the right-hander's frustrating stint in green and gold. Johnson had been designated for assignment on July 24.
Johnson was signed to a one-year, $10 million deal in the offseason but never found his rhythm in Oakland on the heels of consecutive 50-save seasons. He had a 7.14 ERA in 38 appearances, including a 12.86 mark at the Coliseum.
Oakland is on the hook for the remainder of Johnson's salary.
• Righty reliever Evan Scribner was designated for assignment Friday, but he remains on the A's 40-man roster and will report to Triple-A Sacramento.
Because Scribner is more than three years removed from his first appearance on a Major League roster, optional waivers are required when optioning him, which allows the A's to send him to the Minors while keeping him on the 40-man.
• Stephen Vogt will not play the outfield as he continues to deal with pain in his right foot. Melvin said orthotics have helped, but he prefers to keep Vogt at first base for now.
• Melvin said first baseman Kyle Blanks (left calf) had a minor setback in his recovery last week. He was slated to take batting practice Friday, but he will not begin a rehab stint until he's able to run the bases comfortably.
• The A's will host a two-hour baseball clinic, sponsored by Chevron, at 10 a.m. PT on Tuesday at Martin Luther King Park in Richmond, Calif. Fuld, third-base coach Mike Gallego, and former A's Vida Blue, Willie McGee and Shooty Babbitt will run the clinic for kids ages eight to 15.
Aaron Leibowitz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.