SEATTLE — The lineup the A's put forward for Game 162, the finale of the regular season, didn't look much like the lineup the club hopes to field in Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Friday in the Coliseum.
Sunday against the Seattle Mariners, the A's took the field without three regulars: shortstop Jed Lowrie, center fielder Coco Crisp, and left fielder Yoenis Cespedes.
With Lowrie and Crisp, manager Bob Melvin just wanted to give them a day off after long seasons. Lowrie has played in 154 games and has 603 at-bats, almost double the amount of plate appearances than in any of his previous seasons. Crisp has had some injury trouble that has limited him to 131 games and 513 at-bats.
"Both guys have played a lot and really needed the day off,'' Melvin said. "These are two important guys for us.''
Cespedes is every bit as important. But his status for the post-season is related to the status of his right shoulder. He took two weeks off from playing in the field to rest it, started in left on Friday and came out of the game after two at-bats. He didn't play Saturday and wasn't expected to play Sunday.
The A's are reasonably confident that he'll be able to play when the ALDS begins Friday, but just to be sure, they're giving him as much rest as possible. Cespedes didn't take batting practice Saturday or Sunday, and the A's will be cautious with him when they regroup Tuesday at the Coliseum for a 1 p.m. workout.
"He's better today,'' Melvin said. "We're hoping he gets healthy and when pitchers throw to batters (Tuesday) he'll be able to do that.''
The A's went with Seth Smith in left, Chris Young in center and Eric Sogard at shortstop.
*The A's had considered having an intrasquad game during the four off days between Sunday and Friday, but decided against it.
Melvin said the plan instead is to keep players sharp by having pitchers throw to hitters in batting practice. Typically, batting practice consists of coaches grooving pitches to batters.
*Catcher John Jaso, his concussion no longer a hindrance, will join the club Tuesday after having spent about a week at the club's instructional league camp in Arizona.
Having missed the past two months, Jaso is an unlikely participant in the ALDS against Detroit. But he could show up later.
"If we're lucky enough to get to the ALCS and the second round,'' Melvin said, "you can't rule (Jaso) out.''