ANAHEIM -- The good news is that the A's finally have a fifth starter in tow. The bad news is that his presence is going to bump a teammate off the roster come Tuesday.
But it's not yet known who Tyson Ross will replace on the 25-man roster, as manager Bob Melvin deems the looming decision a tough one.
"Very, to put it succinctly," he said Monday.
Considering the makeup of the roster, first baseman Kila Ka'aihue and outfielder Collin Cowgill appear to be the leading candidates to go, especially because Melvin plans on sticking with the group that currently makes up his seven-man bullpen.
Ka'aihue is a strong possibility, despite being out of options and batting .500 in four games entering Monday. The A's already have a left-handed first baseman in Daric Barton, whom the organization views as the everyday guy moving forward. That means most of Ka'aihue's at-bats would come off the bench or at designated hitter, where he started Monday following Sunday's three-hit performance, but the A's already have two others who can fill both those roles in Seth Smith and Jonny Gomes.
It's also worth noting that Melvin said the choice will not strictly be based on performance.
"How much playing time a certain guy will get, that goes into it," he said. "The decision still hasn't been made, and that's how tough this next one will be."
Cowgill, meanwhile, has received just one start, with two overall appearances through the first 10 games. Yet he represents a true fourth outfielder, and Melvin has repeatedly said he likes the speedster's all-out style of play.
"It's difficult to keep him current, yet I need to," Melvin said. "He's a hard-working kid, always prepared."
A's plan two-day celebration of '72 title team
ANAHEIM -- In less than a week, the A's will celebrate the 40th anniversary of their 1972 World Series title, bringing in several of the championship team's players to the Coliseum.
A two-night celebration, scheduled for Friday and Saturday when the Indians are in town, will feature appearances by Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers, Cy Young winner and American League MVP Vida Blue, World Series MVP Gene Tenace and All-Stars Bert Campaneris, Joe Rudi and Ken Holtzman, among others.
On Friday, members of the '72 team, who brought home the first world championship by any major professional sports team in Bay Area history, will sign autographs for fans in the Eastside Club, with proceeds benefiting the Jim "Catfish" Hunter ALS Foundation.
Autograph tickets are $20 per station during each session, with four sessions, each featuring two stations, scheduled. Tickets will go on sale outside the Eastside Club North doors, near Section 234, at 5:35 p.m. PT, and the sessions will run from 6:15 to 8:30 p.m.
A pregame on-field reunion honoring the '72 team will highlight the schedule on Saturday, when the first 10,000 fans through the gate will receive a Rollie Fingers bobblehead. Fingers will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
The '72 championship, claimed in a memorable seven-game series over the Reds, marked the first of three straight World Series titles by Oakland.
A's to option struggling reliever Carignan
ANAHEIM -- After Oakland's 6-0 loss in Anaheim on Monday night, reliever Andrew Carignan was sent out to find command that betrayed him in a three-walk outing.
The right-hander threw just 10 of 25 pitches for a strike against the Halos, allowing an inherited runner to score, along with one of his own. Overall, he was 1-1 with a 6.23 ERA in five appearances.
The A's will officially option Carignan on Tuesday, when they'll not only announce a corresponding roster move for his demotion but another one in wake of Tyson Ross' callup.
"Andrew's a guy that made a lot of strides last year and had a good spring early on, too," manager Bob Melvin said. "He's a guy that we really feel good about in this organization. He's just hit a little speed bump right now, so he needs to go down and iron some things out."
Entering Monday, Carignan had not allowed a run over his past three games after surrendering two in one-third of an inning in the club's March 28 opener against Seattle in Tokyo. In seven Spring Training appearances, he posted a 2.16 ERA with no walks and nine strikeouts.
"I thought I threw really well in Spring Training, and ever since then, I've been reeling," Carignan said Monday night. "It's up to me to pitch well enough to force them to keep me here, and I haven't done that."
The top candidates already on the 40-man roster to fill Carignan's spot in the bullpen are lefty Pedro Figueroa and right-hander Neil Wagner. Figueroa has compiled six scoreless innings with seven strikeouts in four games for Triple-A Sacramento, while Wagner, despite having allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings, has previous experience with the A's.
Cespedes receives first day off of season
ANAHEIM -- Yoenis Cespedes appears to be human after all.
The A's outfielder, just like his teammates, needs rest sometimes, and that's exactly what manager Bob Melvin gave him Monday. Cespedes, having played the first 10 games, got the day off, allowing Coco Crisp to play in his natural center-field position for the club's four-game series opener in Anaheim.
"All the other outfielders have had one," Melvin said.
With Crisp in center and Josh Reddick manning right field, the A's manager handed Seth Smith his first start in the outfield this season. Smith, who up to this point had started his first six games as designated hitter, was slotted into left field, where he played 25 games for the Rockies last season, compared with 107 in right.
Melvin said he will attempt to play Smith and Jonny Gomes in the outfield from time to time, which has been a hard task with Collin Cowgill also in the mix. At the very least, it gives him plenty of options -- two right-handers and a left-hander -- when awarding off-days to his regulars, as he did to Cespedes, who is just 3-for-20 over his past six games after hitting .308 with three home runs in his first four.
Cespedes played in every game during his eighth and final season for Granma in the Cuban League in 2010, but those teams only have 90 games on their schedule, making the 162-game season quite an adjustment for him.
"I just don't want to have to correct something with him," Melvin said. "I don't want to run him down to where, all of a sudden, we have to fix it. We want to make sure he's healthy all along. He's not used to playing 162 games. So just like anybody else, he's going to need some days off."
Lefty Tommy Milone, scheduled to pitch Thursday against C.J. Wilson and Co. in Anaheim, was not feeling well Monday afternoon after experiencing food poisoning and was sent back to the team hotel before game time to rest.
Right-hander Ryan Cook, who has not allowed a hit in four appearances this season, is looking forward to pitching at Angel Stadium, where he frequently visited with friends while attending the University of Southern California. Cook said several friends, along with his Northern California-based parents, would be in attendance throughout the week for the four-game set.
A's closer Grant Balfour entered Monday having not allowed a run in six games. The six appearances are tied for third most in the Majors.