OAKLAND -- The defensive numbers paint a grim picture for the A's.
They committed 16 errors in their first 14 games -- the most in the Major Leagues -- and were on pace to commit 185 errors this season, entering Saturday's game against Detroit.
Just don't expect the A's, a typically solid defensive club, to panic over their troubles in the field.
"I think we've got guys that can play pretty good defense," said second baseman Mark Ellis, who has yet to commit an error. "We haven't played good defense, not as good as we'd like to play. When you don't score a lot of runs, everything gets magnified a little bit -- and we haven't scored a lot of runs.
"When you do that, your defense kind of sticks out a little bit more. We'll be fine. Playing defense, I don't think it's something we need to worry about. We need to play better, absolutely. But in the long term, we'll be fine."
First baseman Daric Barton and third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff entered Saturday's game tied for the team lead in errors with four apiece, while utility man Andy LaRoche had two. The A's committed three errors in the 10th inning on Friday night against Detroit, one each by LaRoche, Barton and pitcher Brian Fuentes.
Last year, the A's finished fifth in the American League with a .984 fielding percentage, and had 99 total errors -- totaling less than 100 for the sixth time in the past seven years. This year, their fielding percentage is .971, worst in the Major Leagues.
"You can get in slumps on defense," Ellis said. "You can absolutely get in slumps on defense. Maybe that's going on with some guys, right now. But I'm not too worried about it. I think we'll be just fine."
DeJesus enjoys facing familiar foes
OAKLAND -- A's right fielder David DeJesus has been seeing plenty of familiar faces in this series against Detroit -- and the past two against the White Sox and Twins.
For DeJesus, that's a good thing.
After spending the first eight seasons of his big league career with Kansas City in the American League Central, DeJesus was traded to A's during the offseason. But since April 7, DeJesus and the A's have faced nothing but AL Central foes.
"I've seen these pitchers, so it definitely helps out," DeJesus said before Saturday's game against the Tigers. "I played them so many times, so you know their coaching styles and things like that. It's all right."
The A's play the Royals at Kansas City in a three-game series from May 2-4 -- and yes, DeJesus has that circled on his calendar.
"My wife is already lining up suites and getting all of our friends from Kansas City to come to the games," DeJesus said. "So that will be fun to go back there and play against the old team that I spent so much time with. I'm definitely looking to beat them, that's for sure. They're playing good baseball, right now. They're winning a lot of games. I'm happy for them. But when we go out there, I want to beat them."
DeJesus hit .318 for the Royals last season, but he entered Saturday's game hitting .234 -- after going 3-for-5 with three RBI on Friday night against Detroit.
"We're 14 games into the season, right now," DeJesus said. "Yesterday was a better sign. I feel like my swing's getting better. It's just being consistent with it, having a consistent approach at the plate that I haven't had so far. But overall, we'll be OK. There's 150 games left. We're not pressing. We just have to go out there and compete every at-bat, and win some games. That's all it comes down to."
DeJesus certainly has no concerns about his defense. He entered Saturday's game with a 252-game errorless streak, the longest active streak among Major League outfielders. His last error came on Sept. 15, 2008.
DeJesus said he doesn't dwell on the streak.
"Just play -- and whatever happens, happens," he said. "I just want to be a guy out there that when the ball's hit to me, the pitchers know that I'm going to be out there and try to make a play for them. And hopefully they respect that. That's my job."
Second baseman Mark Ellis was out of the lineup on Saturday, with utility infielder Andy LaRoche getting the start at second after playing the previous two games at third base. Manager Bob Geren said he was just giving Ellis a night off.
"I'm using everybody," Geren said. "Tonight's a good night for him. He's completely fine."
After two nights off, the struggling Kevin Kouzmanoff returned to the lineup at third.
Right-handed reliever Michael Wuertz had a rough outing on Saturday when he began a rehab assignment for Class A Stockton. Starting against Modesto, he allowed four hits and three runs (all earned) in one inning of work. He gave up a home run, struck out one and had a wild pitch. Wuertz has been sidelined since injuring his left hamstring while lifting weights on April 2, one day after pitching a scoreless inning against Seattle in the A's season opener. He was placed on the disabled list on April 6, retroactive to April 2.
Injured closer Andrew Bailey (strained right forearm) played long toss on Saturday, and is scheduled to throw another bullpen session on Sunday. Geren said he doesn't know how long Bailey will continue his three-day rotation of playing catch one day, then long toss the next and throwing off the mound on Day 3.
"When he is completely feeling great, he'll go right into [facing] hitters," Geren said. "Hopefully, it's sooner rather than later, but no dates for that."
Bailey opened the season on the disabled list.
As it turned out, center fielder Coco Crisp's afro hair style lasted one game. His hair was back in braids on Friday and Saturday against the Tigers.
"It could come back," Crisp said of the afro.
Eric Gilmore is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.