SEATTLE -- Craig Gentry instantly felt differently about being a member of the A's on Saturday.

It happened when he got word Saturday that he officially was coming off the disabled list. To make room on the roster for Gentry, the A's put outfielder Sam Fuld on the designated for assignment list.

``It feels good, and I'm excited,'' Gentry said. ``It's been a long wait. But to be part of the team finally, that's special.''

Gentry said it's difficult to feel part of the team when on the disabled list. Because of back problems, he didn't play a single Cactus League game during spring training. And he's spent more time during the first two weeks of the season on the road during an injury rehab assignment with Stockton and Sacramento than he'd spent with the A's before flying in to join the club Thursday in Minnesota.

``I thought I was being put on the roster then, to be honest,'' Gentry said. ``Why it didn't happen, I don't know. But it's happened now, and I'm happy about it.''

Gentry wasn't in the starting lineup Saturday and doesn't figure to start Sunday as the series wraps up against Seattle, but manager Bob Melvin said Gentry will probably get two starts in the three-game set that begins Monday in Anaheim.

Fuld, meanwhile, is probably lost to the A's, who under baseball rules have 10 days to trade him, release him or put him on the minor league roster if he clears waivers. Nothing is ever certain, but it defies logic that at least one of the other 29 teams wouldn't make a stab at Fuld, a player the A's hate to give up.


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``It's absolutely a difficult decision,'' Melvin said. ``In a short period of time here he has impacted some games for us. He's been right in the middle of some wins. Whether or not we get a chance to have him back here or not, he has contributed in a short period of time.''

Melvin said that with Coco Crisp now healthy and in the lineup after missing four games following a cortisone shot and Gentry set as the fourth outfielder, the A's outfield was too crowded to think Fuld would get much playing time.

``We do have Brandon Moss who can play the outfield too,'' the manager said. ``Barring some injuries, and you can never really forecast that (there wasn't a need for Fuld). It was a tough decision. We wish him the best. He's a terrific person; he fit in well here. He implied to me he had fun here.''

Gentry, like Fuld, is a defensive whiz and counts high-percentage base stealing among his attributes. And while he won't start a game in Seattle this weekend, he could end one.

``He's a really good end-game player, pinch-hitting, base running,'' Melvin said. ``That's one of the reasons we targeted him.''

  • Crisp was back in the lineup, and Melvin suggested that the center fielder was ready to go at the start of Friday's game. As it was, he pinch-hit and struck out in the ninth inning.

    ``He came to me after BP yesterday and said `I'm ready,' Melvin said. ``That's all I needed to hear from him. He is pretty aware of his body, he has played through some injuries, and he knows what is more serious than others. I rely on what he has to tell me and that feedback.''

    Crisp had the cortisone injected last Sunday and the A's have been playing it by ear as to when he'd get back into the lineup. The original hope was for Thursday in Minnesota or Friday in Seattle, but the club wanted to make sure he was not going to be rushed.

  • Luke Gregerson said very little will change for him even knowing that the ninth inning could be his with Jim Johnson taken out of the closer's role for the time being.

    ``When you pitch at the end of the game, you're going to face the same hitters,'' he said. ``I'm not going to be doing anything any differently if I faced the middle of the lineup in the ninth inning than I would if I was facing them in the eighth.

    And Gregerson doesn't expect Johnson, who pitched two scoreless innings Friday, to be out of the closer's job for long. Johnson had an 18.90 ERA after his first five appearances, two of them losses and one a blown save.

    ``Jimmy will be fine,'' he said. ``Obviously when you are with a new team you want to make a good first impression. But he's going to be all right. He was throwing that good curve for strikes and that gives him one more weapon.''

    For more on the A's, see John Hickey's Inside the A's blog at ibabuzz.com/athletics. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JHickey3.