Crosby making up for lost time
Shortstop in every '08 game after missing 194 in last three years
OAKLAND -- After Mark Ellis got his first day off Friday, manager Bob Geren insisted he would most likely be giving the second baseman's partner in crime, Bobby Crosby, rest over the weekend.
The A's shortstop had different plans, however.
Crosby started both games against visiting Texas, knocking an RBI single on Saturday and hitting his 11th double of the season in the A's 3-1 series finale win on Sunday. The 28-year-old is tied for third in the American League in doubles.
"He said he felt good," Geren said before Sunday's game, "so I put him in there again."
Crosby, who is the only Athletic to start all 33 games this year, sees no reason to be out of the lineup. He is batting .400 (6-for-15) with three doubles and five RBIs over his last four games to snap a 0-for-16 streak.
"I feel great," Crosby said Monday before yet another start in the A's opener of a three-game series against the visiting Orioles. "As long as my body's feeling good, I'm going to try to stay in there as long as I can."
It's hard to blame the shortstop for wanting to be out on the field every day. After all, he has missed 194 games due to injuries over the previous three seasons. Last year, Crosby played fewer than 100 games for the third consecutive season as a broken left hand forced him to call it a season in late July.
"It's exciting to watch him out there every day," Ellis said. "I know it's been tough for him the past few seasons with his injuries, but he's been very productive this year and has showed solid defense and is swinging the bat well."
Even during games when the duo does not have a great day at the plate, Ellis noted the importance of their consistent presence in the lineup.
"Us being out there every day means we're healthy," Ellis said. "Even if we're not hitting well, we can still be contributors in the middle of the infield."
Defense has always been one of Ellis' specialties. The second baseman, a Gold Glove candidate the past three years, has committed just one error this season and ranks second in the AL with a .994 fielding percentage. Although Crosby has a few more errors attached to his name (five), he has made up for them with a few eye-catching plays, including a game-ending, victory-saving diving stop and throw to give the A's a 4-3 victory at Seattle on April 25.
"It's been awesome out there with Mark," Crosby said. "It seems like it hasn't been able to happen this much over the past few years, so it's been fun."
And for Crosby, the 2004 AL Rookie of the Year, consistency is key to his offensive and defensive production.
"Being in there every day is the best way to get on a roll," he said. "It also allows me to work out the things that need improvement."
Jane Lee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.