Crisp returning to Bay Area to have neck examined

Crisp returning to Bay Area to have neck examined

ARLINGTON -- The A's sent outfielder Coco Crisp back to the Bay Area on Sunday evening for further evaluation of his sore neck, has learned.

Crisp has been dealing with the issue for much of the season and was out of the lineup on Sunday for the second time in three days.

The A's will wait for the results of Crisp's examination before determining whether a stint on the disabled list is necessary, but he's not expected to be available for any of the three games in Houston this week, though manager Bob Melvin wouldn't rule it out.

Crisp, signed this offseason to a two-year, $22.75 million deal that includes a vesting option for 2017, has already been held out of 35 of the club's 104 games this season. That number includes a handful of routine days off but is more the product of the veteran's injury-prone ways, even though he's managed to stay away from the DL.

In this case, as Melvin noted before Sunday's game, there's a balance of giving Crisp the needed rest a trip to the DL would afford and keeping the team's leadoff man available on days he feels fine.

Crisp's impact on the club is significant, but he also hasn't appeared completely comfortable as of late, going just 8-for-45 over his last 13 games. He was hitting .308 over his previous 40 contests.

"Rest is the best thing for his neck," Melvin said, "yet there are times when he feels really good and it's not an issue, and times when it's pretty significant where he has trouble turning his head."

On those days the A's are able to offset Crisp's absence with an equally speedy outfielder in Craig Gentry, who started in center field on Sunday.

Jane Lee is a reporter for Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.