Former Gator, Big Hurt activated by A's


Published: Saturday, July 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, July 1, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
OAKLAND, Calif. - Designated hitter Frank Thomas and second baseman Mark Ellis were activated from the disabled list by the Oakland Athletics on Friday, and both were in the starting lineup against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The A's made roster room by optioning infielder Mike Rouse and outfielder Doug Clark to Triple-A Sacramento.
Thomas missed 13 games with a strained right quadriceps muscle, while Ellis had been sidelined since May 31 with a broken right thumb that forced him to miss 26 games. Ellis, a former Gator, played four games for Sacramento in a rehab assignment.
"I'm anxious to get out there playing again," said Ellis, who is 1-for-24 in his last seven games and 4-for-40 over his last 11. "It's a lot better than I expected. Everything feels normal."
Ellis will wear a foam pad on his thumb for protection when he bats, but he said it is "really not a nuisance at all." During his stint in Sacramento, he turned a double play and fielded the ball with his hand on the ground with no problems. He said he has to remember to keep his hands up when he slides to avoid further injury.
Thomas, who went on the disabled list June 15, is batting .239 with 16 home runs and 39 RBIs in 55 games. But he was hitting .313 with 10 homers and 24 RBIs in his previous 27 games.
Rouse made a strong impression on the A's coaching staff, batting .292 with three doubles and two RBIs in eight games after being recalled from Sacramento on June 9.
"Super job," manager Ken Macha said. "I told him he did nothing but enhance his position. He gave us a tremendous boost coming in there at Yankee Stadium. He's just got to stay ready."
Clark, a rookie, singled to center against San Diego on Wednesday night for his first major league hit - which also was the A's first hit by a pinch hitter in 24 at-bats this season. Clark also stole his first base.
Third baseman Eric Chavez, meanwhile, was held out of the lineup with inflammation in his forearms that has been bothering him for several weeks. The A's hope the problem will calm down with rest and that the disabled list will not be needed.
Trainer Larry Davis compared the condition to tennis elbow.
"It's highly unusual (in baseball)," Davis said.

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