Athletics

Healthy Chris Bassitt erratic but effective in A's 6-1 win vs. Rangers

Healthy Chris Bassitt erratic but effective in A's 6-1 win vs. Rangers

OAKLAND -- It's been almost three years since Chris Bassitt had Tommy John surgery. Although he did return to the majors in 2018, the A's right-hander never quite felt fully healthy.

Until now.

"To say that this is the best I've felt would be an understatement," Bassitt said Monday night, after he threw five scoreless innings in his season debut, a 6-1 A's win over the Texas Rangers. "My [velocity] is back, everything is kind of back. To be honest with you, tonight I was not really built up, and conditioning-wise wasn't that great, but I mean, yeah, I'm back."

The 30-year-old struggled a bit with his control at the Coliseum, issuing four walks, but he allowed just two hits and struck out seven.

"Effectively wild, I guess," Bassitt said, with a laugh. "It was kind of just fill the zone up with everything and hope for the best."

A's manager Bob Melvin concurred with that assessment.

"He can be a little bit on the effectively wild side, where he walks a couple of guys, he hits a guy, he goes 3-0 on you, and comes back and strikes you out looking," Melvin said. "It's really tough to figure out where he's going to throw the ball. One's moving, one's cutting, [he has] a real slow curveball. He can kind of slow you down and speed you up.

"He's got a lot of movement, and as the game progressed, he got more and more confidence."

Bassitt hoped to begin the year in the A's rotation, but he suffered a bruised shin when he was struck by a batted ball during one of Oakland's exhibition games in Japan. He recorded an ERA of 3.27, with 16 strikeouts in 11 innings, in three minor-league starts this season.

Now, Bassitt has his first major-league win of the 2019 season. He heaped praise on catcher Josh Phegley for guiding him through Monday's outing and helping him overcome his erratic control.

"It's definitely not fun to walk that many guys because you put yourself in awkward situations a lot," Bassitt said. "But I give a lot of credit to Phegley, just because I don't think I shook one time. Not only that, it was just more so in between innings talking to him and [him] saying, 'Listen, this is what we're going to do. Trust it and let's go get 'em.' "

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Despite keeping the Rangers off the scoreboard, Bassitt was frustrated he couldn't pitch deeper into the game to spare Oakland's bullpen. But Melvin was more than content with the outing.

"He gave us what we needed," the manager said. "He came out with a zero on the board and the lead. That's about all we could ask from him today. ...

"It was a great start for him. I know he was excited about his start and wanted to get off to a good start, and he absolutely did. So I know next time out, he'll have a lot of confidence."

Khris Davis to go on 10-day IL after leaving A's 5-3 win over Indians

Khris Davis to go on 10-day IL after leaving A's 5-3 win over Indians

A's manager Bob Melvin confirmed that designated hitter Khris Davis will go on the 10-day injured list as he continues to recover from a left hip contusion.

"He's even resigned himself that he probably needs to take the full 10 days off," Melvin told reporters after Tuesday's 5-3 win in Cleveland. "His swings today in batting practice felt a little better, but once he got into the game, it was no better."

Davis suffered the injury more than two weeks ago in Pittsburgh when he collided with the left field side wall making a catch.

The 31-year-old has been in and out of the A's lineup since then, but clearly has been bothered at the plate. Davis exited Tuesday's game after just one at-bat, following a couple of tentative swings and a weak grounder to shortstop.

"He was finding a way to get some hits, but today, it just got to the point where it's not getting any better at all," Melvin said. "So we have to give him a little bit of a rest and get him back when he's 100 percent. He's a power hitter. He needs his lower half. he creates a lot of torque. That's where his power comes from."

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Davis told reporters that he felt like it might be more of an oblique issue than his hip. He will get an MRI on Wednesday in Cleveland.

Mark Canha and Chad Pinder figure to get more playing time in Davis' absence. Canha pinch-hit for Davis in the third inning on Tuesday and blasted a two-run home run off Trevor Bauer, his sixth of the year.

Pinder has hit two home runs in his last three games and has five for the season, along with a .270/.311/.459 slash line.

The A's have not announced a corresponding move to replace Davis on the active roster, but they will likely either activate outfielder Nick Martini from the IL or call up Skye Bolt or Jorge Mateo from Triple-A Las Vegas. Martini has missed the first 49 games of the season with a sprained knee, but is currently in Las Vegas on a rehab assignment.

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Bolt made his big league debut earlier this season, going 1-for-4 with a double in three games with the A's. He is slashing .319/.388/.586 in Triple-A.

Mateo is off to a hot start in Triple-A as well, slashing .321/.362/.567. The 23-year-old has notched six home runs, 37 RBI, and 11 stolen bases.
 

Khris Davis still feeling effects of hip injury, leaves game vs. Indians

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Khris Davis still feeling effects of hip injury, leaves game vs. Indians

After missing Monday's game with lingering hip discomfort, Khris Davis only lasted one at-bat on Tuesday.

The A's designated hitter noticeably grimaced on a foul ball in the second inning and then grounded out weakly to shortstop on a tentative swing.

Davis suffered a left hip contusion more than two weeks ago in Pittsburgh when he collided with the left field side wall while making a catch.

Davis has been in and out of the lineup since suffering the injury. Both he and A's manager Bob Melvin have said they don't expect him to need a stint on the 10-day injured list, but clearly, he isn't right at the plate.

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With a day off Thursday, Davis seems unlikely to play in Wednesday's series finale, and it remains to be seen if he'll be back on Friday when Oakland opens a nine-game homestand.

There was a silver lining for the A's in Tuesday's game, as Mark Canha hit a pinch-hit two-run home run in Davis' place in the third inning.