OAK@LAA: Sizemore makes a diving stop at second

PHOENIX -- It's a break for Scott Sizemore -- and not to a bone for once.

The A's infielder, sidelined by one too many injuries in recent years, was relieved Monday morning upon learning that X-rays taken on his bruised left hand came back negative.

"That's definitely a good sign," said Sizemore, hit by a pitch during Sunday's game against the Rockies. "Even the tests they did yesterday helped me believe it wasn't anything too serious. They told me I wouldn't have been able to have had any kind of grip strength if it was broken, or I would've had shooting pain up my arm. Since I didn't have any of that, it was just precautionary to have an X-ray, and really, for peace of mind that all is well."

Sizemore doesn't think he'll be able to do any swinging for a couple of days, though a lineup card posted in the A's clubhouse for one of Tuesday's split-squad games would suggest otherwise. Sizemore is listed as the designated hitter for the club's road contest against Kansas City.

"We'll see how it feels," Sizemore said. "I'm obviously not ruling it out, but as far as I can tell, I wouldn't be able to swing a bat at game speed. We'll see what happens."

Manager Bob Melvin said he would keep the possibility open, rather than prematurely scratch his name off the list.

Sizemore was going to try to play catch Monday morning, "but if it hurts, then I'll leave it at that so this doesn't linger any more than it has to," he said.

"It still feels pretty similar to yesterday," Sizemore said. "I can tell any type of pressure on it creates a lot of discomfort. That's why I think a couple of days of treatment will be good for it."

Straily is committed to progress, not stats

PHOENIX -- Stat lines hardly tell the whole story for pitchers during Spring Training, a time they typically use to work on different aspects of their game without worrying about results.

Dan Straily very much embodies this notion, even though he's in competition for a rotation spot. The A's right-hander gave up two runs on four hits in 2 1/3 innings in his second spring start against the Angels on Monday, but rather then dwell on those numbers, he walked away happy with the progress he made on inside fastballs to left-handers.

"That's kind of what [pitching coach] Curt Young and I were talking about before the game, so I can say I got a little bit better today," said Straily, who has allowed four runs and six hits this spring. "It wasn't the greatest outing, but I was working on stuff, trying to get better."

"I thought he pitched better than the numbers show," manager Bob Melvin said. "He hung a couple of pitches, maybe a couple of two-strike breaking balls he threw that got a little more plate and were up a bit, but I thought, overall, his stuff was good."

Of the six lefties he faced, only one notched a hit. That's an improvement for Straily, against whom left-handers hit .271 with a 1.047 OPS in seven starts last season. Right-handers, meanwhile, only hit .215 with a .640 OPS.

Straily also continued work on his developing curveball on Monday, but it "might be time to forget about trying stuff out and just focus on what I have," he said.

The right-hander is scheduled to make four more starts this spring.

A's to honor Japanese baseball on Thursday

PHOENIX -- Having already welcomed a handful of stars from Japan into their family in recent years, including Hideki Matsui and Hiro Nakajima, the A's will honor the legacy of Japanese American baseball prior to Thursday's game against the Mariners at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

Pregame ceremonies will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the opening of Zenimura Field, where games were played at the Gila River internment camp just 40 miles south of Phoenix during World War II.

Tets Furukawa, Masao Iriyama and Kenso Zenimura, three surviving players who not only played on the field but helped build it, have been invited to throw out ceremonial first pitches. They were among 13,000 Japanese-Americans who were held at Gila River during the war, as was Kenichi Zenimura, the "Father of Japanese American Baseball."

Thursday's game, set to begin at 1:05 p.m. MT (12:05 PT), will also feature Japanese American baseball trivia contests and promotional giveaways.

Worth noting

• A's closer Grant Balfour threw his second bullpen Monday since undergoing minor knee surgery. The right-hander is still hopeful he'll be able to see a week or two of game action before the regular season begins.

• A's right-handed prospect Michael Ynoa, behind other pitchers because of a February bout with chicken pox, will throw to hitters Tuesday for the first time since arriving in camp.

• A's lefty Sean Doolittle made quick work of his second spring outing, striking out the side in the fourth inning Monday. Fellow setup man Ryan Cook had more trouble getting outs, allowing one walk and four hits in his one inning of work, including a three-run homer to Vernon Wells.

Right-hander Chris Resop, meanwhile, struck out both batters he faced and has yet to allow a run through three appearances.

• Non-roster catcher Ryan Ortiz was the last A's player to get an at-bat this spring, and he made the most of that plate appearance on Monday, notching a pinch-hit single.