OAKLAND -- The A's got Yoenis Cespedes back into the starting lineup Friday for the opener of a three-game set with the Seattle Mariners, but they've lost third baseman josh Donaldson, at least for one start.
And center fielder Coco Crisp is on the sidelines, too, A's manager Bob Melvin and the medical crew unwilling to push Crisp and his injured right foot any faster than absolutely necessary.
At the same time the A's made a roster move, promoting red-hot reliever Dan Otero, who pitched a dozen games with the Giants last year, from Triple-A Sacramento. Otero, a right-hander who likely will serve in the unfamiliar role of long reliever, takes the place of lefty Hideki Okajima, who was sent down to Sacramento.
Donaldson had to come out of Thursday's game after the 15th inning when he developed a cramp in his right hamstring. He said Friday that after therapy and icing "I don't feel it now.''
"I'm hoping to be ready tomorrow,'' Donaldson said before going out to do a little light running to test his leg pregame.
While Cespedes, who came out of Tuesday's game after feeling an ache in his left hamstring while running out a first-inning grounder, is back in the lineup, it's as the DH. Melvin wants his left fielder to ease his way back, so Seth Smith got the start in left.
The club is hoping that Crisp will be available for Saturday's 4:15 p.m. start against the Mariners. He did come off the bench with a pinch-hit and a subsequent second hit in the final four innings of the A's 18-inning 3-2 win over New York Thursday, but Melvin wasn't crazy about the way Crisp was able to run.
"He's feeling better,'' the manager said. "But when he was in center field (Thursday) he was still limping.''
Otero said he got the call at 9:30 a.m. Friday morning while picking his wife up at the Sacramento Airport. She was returning from a trip to Seattle, and now they were heading to Oakland.
"Any time it happens, you're surprised,'' Otero said. He'd had a 0.99 ERA and 22 strikeouts against one walk for the River Cats in 27.1 innings of relief. "If not, you're not human. News like that never gets old.''
Otero was pitching short relief for the River Cats, but he said he's willing and able to throw three, four or more innings, if needed.
"I can pretty much do whatever they need,'' he said. "I'm looking forward to getting out there.''
The A's were in need of a long reliever because Jesse Chavez threw 5.2 innings of relief to claim the win in Thursday's 18-inning game. He won't be ready to pitch again for two or three days after that kind of exertion, but the A's wanted him to know it was appreciated.
"He's gotten better and better,'' general manager Billy Beane said of Chavez, who has allowed just one run in 15.1 innings (a 0.59 ERA) since being called up to Oakland for the second time this season. "It's important to let him know he's a big leaguer. You could see it in his demeanor.''
That made Okajima the odd man out for the moment. Okajima hadn't pitched for a week before Thursday thanks in part to having taken a line drove off his left forearm. He faced three batters, giving up a double and an intentional walk, in the 13th inning before Chavez replaced him.
Okajima had a contract that called for him to be called up by June to be given the right to become a free agent. Because Okajima, who pitched in five games (0-0, 2.25) after his mid-May promotion from Sacramento, made it onto the big league roster, he no longer has the right to ask for free agency.