Athletics add left-hander O'Flaherty to bullpen

BALTIMORE -- Lefty Eric O'Flaherty was perfect in his first rehab outing since undergoing Tommy John surgery, striking out the side in an inning of work on Friday.

Pitching for Class A Advanced Stockton, O'Flaherty threw 10 of his 13 pitches for strikes.

"Good start for him, and he felt good afterward," said manager Bob Melvin, "so that's important."

It doesn't mean he's ready to join the big league club just yet, though. O'Flaherty will continue his rehab on a Spring Training-like progression, so it's likely he makes at least five more Minor League appearances.

Melvin, however, doesn't believe he'll need to pitch on consecutive days, like most clubs have their relievers do in advance of the season, so it's plausible O'Flaherty's return could still come before month's end.

Worth noting

Coco Crisp was back in the A's lineup on Saturday, after not starting Friday's game because of ongoing neck soreness. Melvin will keep Crisp out of the lineup again Sunday and also at least once during the Anaheim series in advance of Thursday's off-day, in an effort to get him back to full health.

• With Interleague Play nearing in a few short weeks, A's pitchers have begun taking live batting practice. Tommy Milone and Sonny Gray are considered decent hitters, though Melvin said Drew Pomeranz and Scott Kazmir are sleepers.

As for Jesse Chavez?

"He's getting his bunts down," said Melvin, smiling.