It was nice to see Ramón Laureano’s name back on the lineup card, but it was especially a relief for A’s manager Bob Melvin, who needed the break.
“Much better -- based on the fact that I don’t have to listen to him,” Melvin joked to reporters Tuesday. “He can actually play a game at this point. On a particular day, I have no idea where he is -- he’s in the bullpen, standing inside, a lot of times, everywhere you would expect him not to be, but getting him in the lineup is important.”
Laureano was scratched from last Tuesday’s lineup after dealing with some left-side soreness. He said while he was hitting at batting practice, and he felt it in his last swing. Melvin, and Laureano, thought it would have been worse, but luckily that wasn’t the case.
There was a little concern on timing with Laureano being out as long as he was, but Melvin said he feels comfortable after Tuesday’s game and heading into the next weekend that the outfielder will be good to go come Opening Day.
That concern didn’t show when Laureano hit a double in the third inning off of Yency Almonte on Tuesday.
Business as usual. On every account.
"Just getting my feet wet again," Laureano told reporters Tuesday. "I felt good, better than I expected."
“He’s consistently annoying to me, in a good way,” Melvin said. “I mean, he’s in my office a lot, he asks a lot of questions, he’s omnipresent, let’s put it that way. But the most important thing is getting him in the lineup because he’s a big part of our team.”
Typically, Laureano would be restless watching his team compete while he watches from the sidelines, but luckily this injury happened early on.
“It’s spring training so that’s a good thing,” Laureano said. “Just got to listen to the trainers, the strength coaches, just listen to my body -- do little things here and there every day, just try to get loose and that’s it.”
Laureano looks to be one of the A's key players again heading into the 2021 season. He earned an AL Gold Glove nomination in 2020 and don't put it past him to take home the honors this season.