Updates from Saturday, August 2
A's still don't consider Crisp a DL candidate, since he could bounce back at any time. Unlikely he's available tomorrow.— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) August 2, 2014
The Oakland Athletics may not appear to have a lot of problems since they currently own the best record in Major League Baseball, but there is a void in center field that could linger for the rest of 2014.
Coco Crisp, who was having a fantastic season with a .372 on-base percentage in 80 games, hasn't been available since July 26 due to a neck strain that, according to Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com, is more serious than originally thought:
An MRI showed that Crisp has “chronic, degenerative changes” in his neck, according to A’s head trainer Nick Paparesta, stemming from a collision with the center field wall at the Coliseum during a May 7 game. [...]
But coming out of the MRI, there was nothing to suggest Crisp couldn’t return relatively soon if his discomfort subsides. He’ll remain in the Bay Area until the A’s return home Friday for a weekend series against Kansas City.
Paparesta said that Crisp's symptoms have been coming and going since that collision in May. He also said that the issue is "something we’re gonna be battling the rest of the season."
Oakland manager Bob Melvin told Richard Dean of MLB.com that rest is good for Crisp and allows the team to figure out how to treat him:
The MRI showed no changes, which is a good thing. Obviously the rest here the last couple of days has the potential to help him. They're trying to figure out how to alleviate some of the issues he's having. Whether it's medication or whatever.
The A's haven't placed Crisp on the disabled list yet, though the team could change that when they get home on Friday, as Stiglich's report notes.
Crisp's value to the A's can't be overstated because of his ability to get on base and ability to handle center field in the spacious O.co Coliseum. Backup Craig Gentry went on the DL Monday with a broken hand.
Outfield depth is an issue for the A's right now, though they did get Josh Reddick back recently and Melvin had him playing center field on Tuesday against Houston. It's not a permanent solution, though desperate times have forced their hand.
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