OAKLAND -- The good news for Joey Devine is that there appears to be no structural damage to his right elbow. The bad news is that there is still no explanation why he's been plagued by flexor tendon tendinitis for more than two years.
A's manager Bob Melvin said on Thursday that the team's medical staff is in the process of designing the best plan to combat Devine's lingering soreness. The right-handed reliever has shut down all throwing activity for the time being, and it's not yet known when he'll restart it.
"They're going to figure out what the best prognosis is and what the best direction to go is," Melvin said. "Whether it's strengthening, they're going to do everything they can to get it figured out."
Devine, 28, underwent successful Tommy John surgery in April 2009, but has made just 26 big league appearances since then. He had three spring outings early on in camp before the tendinitis sidelined him.
On the eve of the A's second Opening Night -- and first in the States -- Melvin said his lineup for Friday is "going to be very similar," if not exactly the one he used vs. Seattle lefty Jason Vargas in Tokyo last week. With that in mind, Johnny Gomes is expected to be the designated hitter, with Kila Ka'aihue getting the nod at first base.
Gomes, who designed and donned a customized Reds bathrobe while with Cincinnati, has a new one that screams yellow and flashes an A's logo in honor of his new team. The A's veteran was seen wearing it prior to Thursday's workout at the Coliseum, drawing attention from his manager.
"He's a unique individual, and I'm guessing that's not the only piece of attire we'll be talking about this season," Melvin said, grinning. "I'm sure we'll have a few conversations."