Wuertz back from D.L.; Cramer sent to Triple-A
ANAHEIM -- Reliever Michael Wuertz was reinstated from the disabled list Monday, bringing some balance to an A's bullpen loaded with left-handers.
Wuertz's return gives the A's three right-handed relievers to go along with four lefties. There had been a 5-2 split in favor of southpaws since April 18, when Dallas Braden went on the disabled list and right-hander Tyson Ross left the bullpen to take Braden's spot in the rotation.
Lefty reliever Bobby Cramer was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento to make room for Wuertz.
Wuertz said his strained left hamstring is fully healed and that he feels back in form on the mound. His first three minor league rehab outings were shaky, but he recorded a 1-2-3 inning in his final appearance Saturday with Triple-A Sacramento.
"I'm just ready to get back out there, back to where I left off opening day," Wuertz said before Monday's series opener against the Los Angeles Angels. He entered the game in the seventh and threw a scoreless inning with two strikeouts.
Wuertz threw a scoreless inning in the April 1 opener against the Seattle Mariners but was shut down shortly after, when he hurt his hamstring during a pregame workout.
"You saw the job he did two years ago," A's manager Bob Geren said. "He was one of the best setup men in the league. We'd like to get him back (to that level)."
In 2009, Wuertz led American League relievers with 102 strikeouts in 782/3 innings. He never found the same groove in 2010, posting a 4.31 ERA after he missed the first month of the season with shoulder tendinitis.
Cramer made the opening day roster as a long reliever but appeared in just three games. The lone run he allowed came on a 10th-inning walkoff homer by the Chicago White Sox's Alexei Ramirez on April 12.
Geren said Cramer will be stretched out as a starter with Sacramento.
But Crisp was back in the leadoff spot Monday against the Angels.
"He was here early, smiling with the thumbs-up," Geren said. "That's all it took. Hand signal -- no words needed."
-- JOE STIGLICH