CLEVELAND -- With their Interleague opener set for Friday in Atlanta, the A's didn't want to be short an infielder, and it appears they won't be. Second baseman Mark Ellis, who strained his left hamstring on Sunday in Arlington and on Tuesday adamantly dismissed the possibility of heading to the disabled list, showed enough improvement on Wednesday to prompt optimism that he'll be able to take the field at some point over the weekend. "I'm not gonna play here; there's no way," Ellis said before the second game of a three-game series against the host Indians at a soggy Progressive Field. "Friday is the best-case scenario, but I don't want to put any days on it.
"I feel a lot better today, though." Ellis took some swings in the indoor batting cage and tested his hamstring with some running before Wednesday's game. A's manager Bob Geren asked strength and conditioning coach Clarence Cockrell about Ellis' workout, and Cockrell said Ellis ran from foul pole to foul pole four times. "Great," Cockrell said. "No pain." Ellis, who had played in every one of Oakland's games this year before sitting out Tuesday's series opener, received treatment for much of Tuesday and didn't try any baseball activity. By early evening on Wednesday, he was clearly itching for some action. About five minutes before the team had to be on the field to stretch out, Ellis was alone in a smallish concrete bunker between the clubhouse and dugout, throwing a baseball against a wall and catching the rebound. "Do I look bored?" he said with a laugh.
Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.