The Oakland A's already thin outfield took another hit on Thursday when the team announced that outfielder Coco Crisp would be having surgery to remove bone chips in his right elbow. The surgery will take place on Friday. It will cost Crisp at least three weeks and could be a two-month recovery time. Susan Slusser of the SF Chronicle was the first to report the news that Crisp would require surgery. The A's are already going to be without RF Josh Reddick on Opening Day. He is recovering from a strained oblique and is expected to miss at least five days of the regular season.
With Crisp and Reddick heading to the disabled list, outfielder Billy Burns is likely to be on the A's Opening Day roster. Burns hit .397 in Cactus League play and A's Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman said Burns was the team's best hitter this spring. Burns struggled in Double-A and Triple-A last season, hitting only .237 with a .315 OBP. He had one hit in six MLB at-bats for the A's. Before last season, Burns had never hit lower than .312 in any full MiLB season. If on the roster, Burns will join fellow speedsters Sam Fuld and Craig Gentry in the A's outfield mix.
Utilityman Tyler Ladendorf is also a strong bet to make the A's Opening Day roster. Ladendorf can play every position but catcher and pitcher, giving the A's some added versatility off of the bench. He is also a plus runner, although he doesn't have the stolen base track record of Burns.
Rule 5 pick Mark Canha and utilityman Ben Zobrist will also see time in the outfield for the A's, especially during the early parts of the season.
In minor league news, A's Assistant GM David Forst confirmed to OaklandClubhouse that right-hander Matt Buschmann has been traded to the Tampa Bay Rays for cash considerations. Buschmann pitched in the Rays' organization for two seasons before joining the A's on a minor league deal last year. He had a 4.40 ERA in 143.1 innings for the A's Triple-A and High-A clubs last season.