Reddick scratched vs. Rays with sore back

A's outfielder subject of trade rumors

Reddick scratched vs. Rays with sore back

OAKLAND -- A's outfielder Josh Reddick was a late scratch from Saturday's lineup with back soreness, the team announced.

Reddick played in Friday's 13-inning, 1-0 win over the Rays and is 8-for-27 (.296) in eight games since the All-Star break. He was replaced in the lineup by Coco Crisp, who moved to center field while Jake Smolinski shifted to right field to take Reddick's spot.

Reddick, 29, has been the subject of trade rumors in recent weeks, with MLB.com's Jon Morosi reporting Thursday the Cubs were interested in the outfielder. He's in the final year of his contract, and commented Thursday about the trade talks, saying he doesn't "get into the details" of trade rumors.

He also said he's unaware of renewed contract talks between his camp and the A's.

"Not that I've heard, no," Reddick said. "It's kind of disheartening to know that something hasn't been worked out so far and we're four months into it. It is what it is."

Hill scheduled for Sunday bullpen

Oakland's other reportedly sought-after veteran, lefty Rich Hill, will throw a bullpen session Sunday, returning to a mound for the first time since a blister forced him to leave his start last Sunday against the Blue Jays after just five pitches.

Hill will wear a protective layer over his left middle finger as it continues to heal after the blister "opened up" against the Blue Jays. Manager Bob Melvin said it's still too early to pinpoint a specific return date for Hill.

"At least you can get on a mound and keep yourself in shape as far as throwing off the mound and getting after it and throwing the breaking ball and so forth," Melvin said. "We'll see how he responds to that. We'll see how the finger responds in the coming days before setting a date for him."

Hill's blister initially developed while throwing a side session in Houston prior to the start of the second half of the season. Oakland scratched Hill from his scheduled start on July 15, giving him two more days to recover, before starting him July 17 against the Blue Jays, during which he left in the first inning.

Hill is 9-3 with a 2.25 ERA in 14 starts this year, and missed all of June with a groin strain. He's been rumored as one of several starting pitchers drawing interest from contending teams ahead of the Aug. 1 Trade Deadline.

Hill fans 10 over six frames

Worth noting

• Catcher Josh Phegley, who Melvin said earlier this week was progressing quicker than expected, said he doesn't expect to take part in catching drills for at least a week. Phegley is running, throwing and taking batting practice, but Melvin said he's still having difficulty getting into a crouch after having surgery to remove a cyst in his right knee.

"There's still, I wouldn't say, swelling in there, but there's still some issues as far as getting all the way down," Melvin said.

Mark Chiarelli is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.