DET@OAK: Cespedes gets picked off, injures hand

ST. PETERSBURG -- Yoenis Cespedes, who is eligible to come off the disabled list on April 28, swung a bat Saturday for the first time since he injured his left hand a week ago, and A's manager Bob Melvin admitted he was "personally surprised at how well things went."

"He just took some dry swings today," Melvin explained, "but he was encouraged. Maybe tomorrow he'll hit off a tee and after that a little batting practice."

Most of Cespedes' swings were one-handed, first with a fungo bat, then with a regular bat, but he also took about five swings with both hands.

If he continues to progress, he could take batting practice next week when the A's are in Boston.

Cespedes has been sidelined since April 13 because of a strained muscle in his left hand. He injured the area between his thumb and index finger when he slipped or caught his spikes trying to slide and jammed his hand attempting to stop himself. Cespedes was just starting to heat up at the plate when he got hurt, going 5-for-15 over his last four games after starting the season 3-for-25.

Anderson's next start in question after ankle sprain

OAK@TB: Anderson sprains ankle on a pitch in first

ST. PETERSBURG -- Brett Anderson is still scheduled to pitch Wednesday afternoon in Boston, but A's manager Bob Melvin admitted Saturday that his injury-plagued left-hander might not be able to make his next start.

Anderson, who sprained his right ankle in the first inning and was forced to leave the game against the Rays on Friday night, "felt better," according to Melvin, when he reported to Tropicana Field Saturday. However, Anderson's ankle was still slightly swollen, and he wore an air cast much of the day. The pitcher was instructed not to do anything except receive treatment on Saturday.

"We'll see how he feels tomorrow and go from there," Melvin said.

The A's do not have an off-day until May 2, so if Anderson does have to miss a start, Dan Straily, who was outstanding in his one start during the first week of the season and who is pitching well at Triple-A Sacramento, could be called up to replace him.

Anderson, who takes pride in his control, walked two Rays in his lone inning of work Friday night and has issued 11 base on balls in four starts this season (19 2/3 innings).

"He got behind in the count too often, and he wasn't locating his slider as well as he usually does," Melvin said in assessing Anderson's performance on Friday.

"I've got to cut down on the walks," Anderson admitted. "I'm a notorious command guy."

A's add fresh arm to 'pen by recalling Chavez

OAK@DET: Chavez hits Prince, gets ejected in eighth

ST. PETERSBURG -- Shorthanded in the bullpen after Evan Scribner pitched three innings of relief Friday night when starter Brett Anderson was forced to leave the game after one inning because of a sprained right ankle, the A's recalled well-traveled veteran right-hander Jesse Chavez from Sacramento Saturday and optioned Scribner to their Triple-A affiliate.

"We needed another arm in the bullpen," manager Bob Melvin explained, "and we weren't going to have Scribner for a couple of games.

"That's what happens sometimes when your starter gets knocked out early."

Chavez will assume the role of long reliever. "If something were to go wrong, he could give you six innings," Melvin said.

Chavez was in the starting rotation with the Triple-A Sacramento team. He has a 1-1 record with a 2.45 ERA in three starts this season, striking out 19 batters and walking just four in 18 1/3 innings. His last start was April 15 when he allowed two runs on six hits while striking out nine in seven frames.

The 29-year-old Chavez had an 18.90 ERA in four appearances with the A's last September. He previously pitched in the Major Leagues for the Pirates, Braves, Royals and Blue Jays.

Scribner posted a 4.26 ERA in eight appearances with the A's this year.

Worth noting

• Melvin watched the pregame show from Boston as well as the Red Sox's game against the Royals on TV Saturday.

"I don't usually sit there and pull for teams that I'm not a part of," the A's manager said, "but I couldn't help but pull for Boston after all they've been through up there."

• Josh Reddick, 2 for his last 22, had his hair cut and trimmed his scraggly beard before Saturday's game.

"Whatever he feels comfortable with is fine with me," Melvin said.

• Hiro Nakajima, recovering from a hamstring injury, will report in Arizona for extended spring camp on Monday. He is expected to play shortstop, at least initially, but the way Jed Lowrie is hitting, the A's may want to look at him at some other positions.

• Adam Rosales (rib cage) is continuing his rehab assignment at Class A Stockton. Barring injury to one of the A's, he will probably remain there at least until the team returns home on April 25.