OAKLAND -- When rosters expand Saturday, the A's could bring in a handful of young faces. But none will be welcomed in more than an elder one.
Third baseman Brandon Inge, sidelined by a sprained right shoulder for the past three weeks, is expected to be activated from the disabled list, barring any setbacks during Friday's workouts. The timing couldn't be any better, after Josh Donaldson left Friday's game with a right hip flexor injury. He's been deemed day-to-day.
"Knowing [Inge], hopefully he doesn't do some sort of a belly flop out there or a couple of somersaults," manager Bob Melvin said, smiling. "We'll get him through the workout today and, if all goes well, there's a good chance we'll activate him [Saturday]."
Inge had started 62 of the A's last 65 games at third base prior to his injury, with Donaldson getting the majority of time there since -- and excelling. Donaldson is 22-for-64 with six doubles, four home runs and 14 RBIs in 17 games with Oakland, and his production figures to garner him more playing time even when Inge is back on board.
As for other help, it's unknown what positions will get strengthened Saturday. Triple-A Sacramento is currently engaging in their sixth straight postseason, but that won't be a factor in who the A's choose to call up.
"I think the important thing for us is getting people that can help you at a particular time," Melvin said. "You don't want to overdo it and just have people here you potentially don't use. That's kind of what we're weighing right now. Who are the guys we are going to use at this point in time?"
Second baseman Jemile Weeks, who is batting .419 with nine RBIs in seven games with Triple-A Sacramento since his demotion, could be headed back to Oakland as early as Saturday, and the A's would likely want to bring in relief help, as well.
Griffin returning to A's rotation Saturday
OAKLAND -- The A's will get A.J. Griffin back on Saturday, when the right-hander is slated to make his first big league start in nearly a month against the visiting Red Sox.
With his return comes an extra day of rest for lefty Brett Anderson, who will now pitch Sunday for his third start of the season, after compiling 14 innings in his first two starts.
Griffin, sidelined by a strained right shoulder since exiting his Aug. 4 start early, essentially takes over the suspended Bartolo Colon's rotation slot. He made two rehab starts with Triple-A Sacramento, his most recent a one-run, five-inning outing.
"I felt like I was holding back a little bit that first outing and maybe thinking about it too much, so my location was off," Griffin said. "I got my location back the second time and am feeling confident."
The rookie was superb for the A's before being sidelined, compiling a 3-0 record and 2.42 ERA in eight starts. He returns to a staff that entered Friday having compiled a 10-2 record and 3.06 ERA over the last 14 games, a stretch that has resulted in a 12-2 team record.
"Obviously it's nice they want me to be back and contributing to this team," Griffin said. "It makes you feel good, like you're valued and they support you."
"It was unfortunate he went down when he did, because he was pitching really consistently for us," manager Bob Melvin said. "I think the dynamic of bringing him back was more about how many starts he would need before coming back. We didn't feel he was ready after the first but we felt he was after the second."
A's recall Figueroa to add lefty in bullpen
OAKLAND -- In need of a fresh left-handed arm, the A's recalled hard-throwing Pedro Figueroa from Triple-A Sacramento on Friday.
In doing so, the club was forced to option righty Jim Miller to Class A Stockton, where he has to remain for only three days -- rather than 10 had he been sent to Sacramento -- before being eligible to rejoin the A's on Tuesday.
It marks the fifth stint with the A's this season for Figueroa, who has compiled a 1.20 ERA and .170 opponents average spanning 11 appearances with Oakland. He logged a 2.45 ERA in seven relief appearances with Sacramento following his Aug. 7 option and has a 2.62 ERA in 32 relief appearances overall with the River Cats.
"He's been instrumental for us, whether it's multiple innings or matching up," manager Bob Melvin said.
Like Figueroa, Miller has done plenty of traveling between Oakland and Sacramento this season, having already endured three separate stints with the A's. The right-hander pitched just once in his most recent one, tossing 2 1/3 scoreless innings in Thursday's win in Cleveland.