"That's too bad," A's manager Bob Geren said while watching his projected No. 3 starter, Justin Duchscherer, work in a Triple-A game at Papago Park on Thursday. "The kid's been having a great spring."
Gonzalez, 22, had tweaked the same hamstring earlier in camp but had bounced back nicely and was batting .360 (9-for-25) entering Wednesday's game. But an inning after making a highlight-reel catch in center field to open the game, he felt the hamstring tighten while chasing Stephen Drew's second-inning double to left-center and was replaced by Jeff Fiorentino in the bottom half of the frame.
"I don't think it's that bad," Gonzalez said after the game.
It's worse than he thought, and the timing couldn't be worse for the A's. With Chris Denorfia, the team's top candidate to start in center field when camp opened, having a slow spring at the plate (3-for-26, .115), Gonzalez appeared to be on his way to making the club's brass put some serious thought into keeping him on the big league roster.
Acquired in the December deal than sent Dan Haren to the Diamondbacks, Gonzalez has never played in the Majors, and he's only played in 10 game at Triple-A over his five-year professional career.
Also on the medical front, Geren confirmed that third baseman Eric Chavez, who flew to Los Angeles to see a back specialist Wednesday morning, was expected to re-join the team Friday but will not travel to Tucson for Oakland's Cactus League game against the White Sox.
Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.