Kotsay has missed the last seven games due to back spasms that have bothered him throughout the season. The center fielder was hoping to play Sunday, but the Athletics opted to hold him out since he had done little in the way of baseball-related activities.
“He came in and told me he’s ready to play,” Oakland manager Ken Macha said, “But that’s tough after missing a week and having not taken any (batting practice). I said, ‘I don’t think so.”’
Kotsay may take batting practice before Monday’s game. He batted .314 (27-for-86) with 11 runs scored in 20 games in August.
“I’d like to see him do something at game speed before I throw him back out there,” Macha said. “But you don’t always have that luxury at this time of year.”
Oakland’s weekend series with the New York Yankees ended on a down note with a Sunday’s 7-3 loss. The Athletics fell one game behind the Los Angeles Angels in the AL West race and one game behind the Yankees in the wild card race.
First baseman Dan Johnson went 0-for-4 on Sunday, and is mired in a 1-for-19 skid. The A’s have dropped four of five.
Things don’t figure to get much easier on Monday as the A’s will step in against Mariners phenom Felix Hernandez. The 19-year-old right-hander will be making his seventh start of the season and first against Oakland. Hernandez has not allowed more than three runs in any of his outings and has 45 strikeouts in 44 innings.
Hernandez was outpitched by five-time Cy Young Award winner Randy Johnson in a 2-0 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday. Hernandez surrendered only two runs and four hits over eight innings while striking out seven.
“Pitching against (Johnson) was an honor, it was a great joy,” Hernandez said through an interpreter. “Even though we lost, it was great to be out there against him. He did a great job, He pitched a great game.”
The Mariners are coming off losing two of three to the Angels, including Sunday’s 5-3 defeat. Seattle is just 14-25 against AL West opponents.