Chavez shut down with sore shoulder
Former Gold Glover was scheduled to play in field on Monday
PHOENIX -- The on-again, off-again comeback by Oakland's Eric Chavez hit another snag on Monday, as he was scratched from his expected spring fielding debut at third base because of soreness in his surgically repaired right shoulder.
A's manager Bob Geren said that Chavez would be shut down from fielding drills and his in-game role as a designated hitter for the immediate future."He experienced some pain in his shoulder [on Sunday] and we're going to give him some time off, even from DHing," Geren said on Monday morning hours before his club's game against the Angels at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. "There's not a determined date [for Chavez to return]. But he's not going to do anything at least for a few days. We'll try and get everything calmed down." Chavez was slated to be replaced in the lineup against the Angels at third by Bobby Crosby, making his first appearance in a Cactus League game other than at shortstop. Geren said that Chavez had experienced soreness in the shoulder while DHing on Sunday in the A's, 8-5, victory over the Indians. Chavez came out after two plate appearances. He was 0-for-2 with a strike out. Chavez has been taking extensive throwing drills, trying to return from last season's surgery to repair a torn labrum. His season ended on Aug. 13 because of the surgery. He didn't play again after being placed on the disabled list on July 1. But Geren said the latest setback wasn't caused by overexertion of the shoulder while throwing. "It happened in the middle of the game [on Sunday]," Geren said. "It was while he hitting. We'll just give him some time off and hopefully it will calm down and he'll right back at it." Because of a variety of injuries to his shoulders and back, Chavez has been limited to 113 games during the past two seasons. His 2008 season began in Spring Training with Chavez recovering from back surgery. The shoulder surgery was his fourth surgery in less than a year. He had three surgeries on his back and shoulders during a 10-week period in 2007. Chavez hasn't played a full season since 2006, when he appeared in 137 games, batted .241 with 22 homers, 72 RBIs and won his sixth Gold Glove. As far as Crosby is concerned, with the signing of Orlando Cabrera to play short, the former Rookie of the Year was told that he would be tested at other infield positions. Since Saturday, Crosby has taken grounders at second base, so the move to third came as a surprise. It came only a day after Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez decided to have surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip and could miss as much as nine weeks. But Geren laughed when asked if the A's were showcasing Crosby for the Yankees. Crosby has asked the A's to move him elsewhere so he can continue his career as a starting shortstop. "Third base is similar to short," Geren said. "It's on the same side of the field. The length of throw is similar. I wanted him to get out there as soon as he was good and ready. [Coach] Mike [Gallego] said to go for it." In other news, the A's made 11 roster moves on Monday morning, their first cuts of the spring. They optioned pitcher Jeff Gray to Triple-A Sacramento. The A's also reassigned non-roster invitee pitchers Brett Hunter, Jared Lansford, Arnold Leon and Tyson Ross, catcher Josh Donaldson, and infielders Tagg Bozied, Adrian Cardenas, Chris Carter, Yung-Chi Chen and Jemile Weeks to their Minor League camp. "Most of these guys were here for the experience," Geren said, "and a little taste of what it's like to be up here. They were all happy to have the experience." The A's now have a total of 53 players in camp, which includes 39 players on the 40-man roster and 14 non-roster invitees. The breakdown includes 24 pitchers, four catchers, 15 infielders and 10 outfielders.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.