After a lengthy recovery period stemming from offseason elbow surgery and an additional neck strain (and subsequent recovery period), outfielder Coco Crisp could return to the Oakland Athletics' lineup this week.
On Sunday, word broke that Crisp was nearing activation from the 15-day disabled list, after having spent five games with the club's Single-A affiliate Stockton Ports in which he 4-19 with two home runs.
The 35-year-old has only appeared in 13 games for the A's in 2015, as a balky neck issue sent him back to the DL in May.
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Manager Bob Melvin told MLB.com's Jane Lee on Sunday that the club plans to use Crisp in the No. 2 slot in the lineup, which is no surprise considering how much of an asset speedy center fielder Billy Burns has been since breaking into the lineup this season: "I talked to Coco a little bit about that. I do like the dynamic potentially of them two at the top, which means we may look to hit Coco second, and I think that may help him some, too. When Billy's on base, certainly there's a lot of attention on him, and Coco's a pretty good situational guy. Sitting here right now, that's probably the plan, but he's pretty open to where he's hitting in the lineup."
Crisp, who has a reputation for being pretty private when discussing his injuries, replied simply with 'sure' when asked by Lee on Sunday about how ready he is to returning to full-time duty.
Crisp is signed through 2016 for $11 million, with a mutual club option for the 2017 season - so he and the A's no doubt hope he'll be able to stay healthy enough to return to being a regular contributor on both offense and defense.