PHOENIX — An "extremely relieved" Scott Sizemore showed up at the A's camp Monday morning, less than 24 hours after he was hit by a pitch on the back of his left hand and was forced out of the game.
Early morning X-rays taken of the hand showed no fracture or break and it should be just a matter of days and not weeks before Sizemore is back in the Oakland lineup competing again for the open starting job at second base.
``It's definitely a relief,'' Sizemore said. He needed this one, because last spring an ACL injury led to surgery and cost him the entire 2012 season. ``It's not broken so it's not `here we go again.' ''
Sizemore came to camp last year as Oakland's starting third baseman, got hurt on the first day and spent his season recovering from ACL surgery on his left knee as Josh Donaldson, a converted catcher, took over at third base and bloomed.
This year the opening is at second base. Trouble there exists in the form of a massive grouping of potential second basemen — Jemile Weeks, Jed Lowrie, Adam Rosales and Eric Sogard in addition to Sizemore — and the last thing the 28-year-old needs is to miss playing time this spring.
He'd gotten off to a 1-for-10 start at the plate, which wasn't helping his cause, but he'd had back-to-back hits to open the game before being hit on the hand to the Rockies' Tyler Chatwood in the top of the third. The bases were loaded at the time, and Sizemore was credited with one of the more painful RBIs of his career.
``I went out to play defense and that was OK, but when I came back in the dugout, I picked up a bat,'' Sizemore said. ``I couldn't hold it very well. I knew it was going to be a couple of days.''
Manager Bob Melvin said that the club would probably keep Sizemore quiet for a few days, including the day off Wednesday. The return is likely either Thursday or Friday.
He said he threw between 35 and 40 pitches and felt good in the process.
Balfour still hasn't started to run and he hasn't begun to face hitters, so he's a long way from being ready to go. But because spring training is extended from six weeks to seven because of the World Baseball Classic, Balfour said he hopes to be able to be ready to serve as the A's ninth-inning man when the season starts April 1 in Oakland against Seattle.
Wolff responded Monday in a statement released by the club, suggesting that he and majority owner John Fisher aren't interested taking the route of a lawsuit to break a four-year logjam that has blocked the building of a stadium for the A's in San Jose.
``We are part of the MLB partnership and will continue to respect the Constitution and agreements that govern our participation in MLB,'' the statement read. ``We seek our needed new venue based solely on the merits of the move and the benefits to MLB, the A's and our fans and sponsors.''
Straily was throwing strikes Monday against the Angels in his second spring start, but he wasn't particularly happy with them.
``I was throwing strikes and I didn't walk anyone, so that was good,'' Straily said after the A's 13-5 win over the Angels. ``But they weren't quality strikes.''
Straily didn't have the movement that he wanted on his pitches and the location wasn't up to specs, either. But that's what spring training is for.