Outlook: Gentry remains steady, offers decent speed

PHOENIX -- The A's are taking the cautious route with Craig Gentry, who is expected to remain off the field for another 10 days while continuing to recover from a lower back strain.

"We're going to continue to do some core strengthening with him," manager Bob Melvin said Wednesday morning. "We've seen different doctors and gotten some different opinions, and he's just not where the training staff would like to see him, as far as strengthening and getting his back to 100 percent."

This means Gentry could miss more than a week of games, though Melvin maintains his new outfielder should have no problem staying on track for Opening Day.

"If it's that timetable, probably not," he said, "but you never really know."

The 30-year-old Gentry has been held out of action since Friday, and his ongoing absence will allow A's coaches to get a good look at a couple of outfielders next in line on the depth chart: Sam Fuld, here on a Minor League deal, and prospect Michael Taylor, who is in his fifth big league camp with the A's and out of options.

Fuld got the start in center field and batted leadoff in Wednesday's Cactus League opener on the road against the Giants, while Taylor drew the start in left. Fuld's name also appears in Thursday's lineup vs. the visiting Brewers. He'll bat eighth and play in left.

"They're going to get more at-bats because of this, but we also have a pretty good idea of what they can do," said Melvin. "Still, it gives them some more at-bats to impress, and that's a good thing for them."

Athletics streamline website domain name

PHOENIX -- In an effort to ease fan access to the official club website and, in turn, conform with most other Major League clubs' sites, the A's have announced "athletics.com" as their new brand domain.

The switch, from the original "oaklandathletics.com," is effective immediately, and it "will make accessing the Athletics much easier and faster for fans," the team said in a statement.

Moreover, the name matches that of the A's official social media accounts, including @Athletics on Twitter.

The team stresses that "oaklandathletics.com" will continue to function, despite the change to a simpler option for public use.

Worth noting

John Jaso made his first start behind the plate since July 24 on Wednesday, catching two innings before he was hit by a pitch just above the elbow and pulled from the game.

"I was going to go back out there," Jaso said, "but Day One of Spring Training, probably no need. It was just cool to catch again."

Ryan Cook (right shoulder) will throw from flat ground Thursday. That means the reliever is one step closer to throwing his first bullpen of the spring, which could happen as early as this weekend.

Also making encouraging progress are a pair of Tommy John rehab students: relievers Eric O'Flaherty and Fernando Rodriguez. O'Flaherty will throw from flat ground come Friday, and Rodriguez will throw live batting practice for a second time Saturday.