8/19/2014 10:55 P.M. ET
A's to skip Hammel in rotation against Angels
By Aaron Leibowitz / MLB.com
OAKLAND -- With off-days this week on Monday and Thursday, the A's have decided to skip Jason Hammel's start originally scheduled for Friday against the Angels. Hammel is expected to rejoin the rotation during the following series in Houston.
"With these off-days, we've manipulated a little bit here," said A's manager Bob Melvin before Tuesday's matchup with the Mets. "But we still know that this is a guy that's very important to us and we have to get him going."
Sonny Gray, Jon Lester and Scott Kazmir will each move up a day to face the division-rival Angels on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively. That still gives Gray and Lester an extra day of rest, while Kazmir gets the typical four days off between starts.
Hammel, meanwhile, will be available out of the bullpen on certain days during this five-game homestand, depending on when he does his side work. The right-hander plans to push "a little bit harder" than he normally would in those sessions, according to Melvin.
In seven starts since being traded from the Cubs, Hammel is 1-5 with a 6.75 ERA. His August began with back-to-back effective outings, but he followed those up with a rough outing in Atlanta on Friday -- five runs and three home runs in three innings.
Hammel has appeared in 57 games as a reliever, including three times for the Orioles last September.
Melvin grateful to Selig for helping him get started
OAKLAND -- Commissioner Bud Selig spent much of his time at the Coliseum on Tuesday fielding questions about the A's thorny stadium situation. Little light was shed on the issue -- but perhaps more was learned about manager Bob Melvin's relationship with the Commissioner: Selig helped Melvin get his first post-playing career job.
"When I was in Milwaukee, my first stint as a non-player, he was actually a bit instrumental in getting me a job there with the Brewers," Melvin said Tuesday. "I've known him for quite a while, admired what he's done, and baseball is better for his service."
So how did Melvin come to meet Selig, the former Brewers' owner? Through Melvin's great aunt, the late Estie Epstein.
"My great aunt played bridge with his [mother-in-law], if you must know," said Melvin. "It's not what you know, it's who you know."
Melvin started out as a Brewers scout and became a coach in 1999. The rest, of course, is history.
"I can't tell you how much I think of him," Selig said. "He's done a great job as a manager, but he's a marvelous human being.
"I've enjoyed his success almost as much as his family. That's how much I think of him."
• Nick Punto (right hamstring strain) is recovering gradually, doing some light jogging and taking swings in the cage.
• Craig Gentry (broken right hand) went 0-for-4 as the designated hitter for Triple-A Sacramento on Monday and was scheduled to play seven innings in the outfield on Tuesday.
Aaron Leibowitz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.