ARLINGTON -- A's outfielder Coco Crisp, who has been sidelined by pinkeye, showed enough improvement on Tuesday to take part in baseball activities for the first time in nearly a week.Crisp hit in the inside batting cages at Rangers Ballpark and joined teammates for their pregame workout, even shagging a few balls in the outfield seemingly without much trouble. A's manager Bob Melvin said Crisp is now seeing out of his left eye well but that his right eye remains an issue. Still, some improvement is better than none. "This is kind of the day we were targeting to get him some baseball activity," Melvin said. "Where it goes from here we're not sure but certainly more encouraging than yesterday."
Slumping Reddick sits in Texas
ARLINGTON -- The A's best hitter has been anything but that in recent days, leading manager Bob Melvin to lend him some needed rest.Right fielder Josh Reddick, mired in a career-long 0-for-27 slump, received a mental day off Tuesday for the club's second contest of a four-game set in Texas. "He's grinding pretty hard," Melvin said. "That hasn't changed." Despite producing good at-bats and making solid contact in many of them, Reddick has just two hits in 30 at-bats through the first seven games of the A's crucial 10-game road trip through Detroit, New York and Texas, and none since Sept. 18, marking a week-long stretch without one. In that time, Melvin has bumped Reddick from his usual third spot in the lineup to No. 6 and, on Monday, No. 7. Yet it's been more of the same, and his struggles, combined with Coco Crisp's absence (pinkeye), has hindered an A's team that has dropped six of eight. Reddick endured a similar stretch in August but found his way out of it by going 14-for-28 with three home runs and nine RBIs over his next six games, before again finding frustration by way of a .133 average over his past 22. In his stead Tuesday, Brandon Moss drew a start in right field, while Daric Barton assumed first base duties and Chris Carter, who has showcased a couple of defensive lapses as of late, handled the designated-hitter role.
A's bring Class A Beloit into farm system
ARLINGTON -- The A's added a new Minor League affiliate on Tuesday, welcoming in the Beloit Snappers of the Class A Midwest League by way of a two-year player-development contract.Beloit, in Wisconsin, replaces Burlington (Iowa), also of the Midwest League. Burlington has agreed to a player-development contract with the Angels after two years with Oakland. "It is an established Single-A market with a strong baseball community and management team," A's general manager Billy Beane said of Beloit in a release. "We look forward to a very successful partnership." Beloit originally joined the Midwest League in 1982 as an expansion franchise affiliated with the Brewers. That partnership ended after the 2004 season, at which point the Snappers changed affiliation to the Twins, a relationship that continued through this past season. The Snappers play their home games at Harry C. Pohlman Field, which seats 3,501. It first opened in 1982, receiving renovations in 1995.
The red-hot Cliff Pennington earned a start in the leadoff spot on Tuesday, as Melvin continued to mix up his lineup while Crisp remained out. Pennington, who for nearly all of August was hitting below the Mendoza Line, entered the day batting .364 with three home runs and 10 RBIs over his last 20 games, all the while upping his season average to .222.
Coming into Tuesday, A's hitters had struck out 1,307 times this season, most in the Majors. With nine games to play, they're closing in on the American League record of 1,324, set by the Rays in 2007.