OAKLAND -- A's pitchers and catchers are set to report to camp in less than two weeks to begin a new Spring Training season, providing a fresh start for an Oakland club that finished 2015 in last place.
In the days leading up to that, MLB.com will roll out a multipart preview taking a categorical look at the 2016 A's. First up: players on the rebound.
OF Coco Crisp: Crisp has averaged just 85 games over the past two seasons because of injuries, notably a chronic neck issue that limited him to 44 games in 2015. His regular presence in the lineup, then, can hardly be guaranteed, but the A's still view the veteran outfielder as an integral piece to their lineup and deem him their sparkplug when healthy. Crisp, 36, is in the final guaranteed season of a two-year extension, set to make $11 million.
LHP Sean Doolittle: Doolittle made just 12 appearances last year because of two separate shoulder injuries, and the A's bullpen struggled, converting only 28 of 53 save opportunities. (Doolittle notched four saves in five opportunities.) The lefty recently said his throwing shoulder feels normal ahead of Spring Training, an encouraging sign for a bullpen that welcomed several reinforcements this offseason, including veterans Ryan Madson and John Axford. Doolittle compiled 22 saves in 2014, posting a 2.73 ERA in 61 appearances.
DH Billy Butler: Butler, signed to a three-year, $30 million deal ahead of the 2015 season, stumbled to a .251 average in his first year as with the A's, a 20-point dip from his previous career low of .271. His 65 RBIs were his fewest since '08 (55), and he notched only a .390 slugging percentage. Improving upon those numbers can only help an uncertain A's offense.
RHP Jarrod Parker: Parker is gearing to pitch in the big leagues for the first time since 2013. The right-hander missed the '14 season following his second Tommy John surgery, and he fractured his throwing elbow during a May '15 rehab start and underwent another procedure, stalling his comeback bid yet again. The A's have been encouraged by Parker's progress this offseason and remain hopeful he can return as a starter. However, Parker may have a better chance at continuing his career as a reliever.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.