OAKLAND -- Brandon Moss returned to the A's lineup Monday as the designated hitter for the series opener against the Giants, three days after he sprained his left ankle.
Swelling in the ankle initially did not subside as Moss hoped it would, but an MRI on Sunday revealed no structural damage. Manager Bob Melvin said the lefty slugger was feeling much better Monday.
"Big-time improvements today," Melvin said before the game. "We'll limit him to the DH role today, even though I'm sure he wants to get out on the field."
Moss rolled the ankle over during Friday's game against Toronto while trying to get out of the batter's box on a ground ball.
Stephen Vogt's versatility continued to come in handy in Moss' defensive absence -- he recently has seen regular time in right field, and Monday he got his third career start at first base.
Hammel arrives, slated to start Wednesday
OAKLAND -- Jason Hammel spent much of his six-hour flight to the Bay Area on Sunday evening watching buddy Jeff Samardzija celebrate his first start in green and gold with a series-sweeping win over the Blue Jays.
"As soon as he came out of the game, I told him, 'Nice job, Shark,'" said Hammel, addressing media at the Coliseum for the first time Monday. "I want to follow in the same suit."
His time comes Wednesday against a familiar opponent in the Giants, whom he faced plenty during a three-year tour in Colorado, which preceded stints in Baltimore and, more recently, Chicago.
The Cubs parted ways with both Hammel and Samardzija in a blockbuster deal that netted them Oakland's top prospect, Addison Russell, along with another first-round pick, Billy McKinney, and right-hander Dan Straily.
Hammel was officially added to the A's roster Monday in place of lefty Brad Mills, who was designated for assignment.
"It's fun to get thrown right in the middle of the fire here with the Battle of the Bay," said Hammel, 8-5 with a 2.98 ERA in 17 starts for Chicago. "I've got a lot riding here in my first appearance, so I better make it good."
He and Samardzija had long known they were on the trading block, but to end up on the same team -- the one with baseball's best record, no less -- well, that was a shock.
"It's something that doesn't come around too often," said Hammel. "This is a good group of guys, I can see that already.
"I can see why it's easy to win for them here. I just want to bring what I can to the table and not screw up. I think, overall, this is a great move for me."
"Another very talented pitcher that we're lucky enough to have," said manager Bob Melvin. "To be able to get two of those guys, let alone one of them, is an awfully nice luxury. We're looking forward to him pitching Wednesday."
Reddick, Pomeranz make progress on injury fronts
OAKLAND -- A's outfielder Josh Reddick and left-hander Drew Pomeranz both made important strides Monday in their recoveries from injury.
Reddick, who was placed on the disabled list June 29 just five days after being reinstated, participated in his first full day of baseball activities. He took on-field batting practice and shagged fly balls, a positive step in his recovery from a strained right knee.
"It's a good sign, and we'll have a better idea tomorrow once he [goes] through baseball activities," manager Bob Melvin said before Monday's game vs. the Giants.
Pomeranz, meanwhile, was scheduled to test out his right hand catching a baseball Monday for the first time since fracturing it June 16. The lefty has been keeping his arm in shape, recently throwing a 65-pitch simulated game.
"No more wide-receiver stuff where he's the quarterback," Melvin joked, referencing the fact that Pomeranz has had someone else receiving throws for him. "He actually gets to catch the ball, which is a big step for him."
Oakland's third player on the 15-day DL, Kyle Blanks, is also progressing in his rehab for a strained left calf. The first baseman has been taking batting practice in the cage, and he planned to play catch Monday.
Blanks noted that, contrary to recent reports, he has been told the calf is not torn.
"It could have been way worse, but it's something that I'm able to continue to do some baseball stuff while I'm not playing," Blanks said.
He remains unsure of a timetable for his return.
• The A's claimed outfielder Kenny Wilson off waivers from the Blue Jays on Monday and optioned him to Triple-A Sacramento. They also outrighted outfielder Nick Buss to Sacramento.
Buss had been designated for assignment Saturday to clear a 40-man roster spot for Samardzija.
• A's Minor League outfielder Herschel "Boog" Powell has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for an amphetamine in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
The suspension of Powell, currently on the roster of Class A Advanced Stockton, is effective immediately.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Aaron Leibowitz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.