HOUSTON — What will the Oakland A's roster look like come Friday, 24 hours after the trade deadline has come and gone.

Manager Bob Melvin said he'd be more than OK with things staying as they are, but he knows general manager Billy Beane well enough that anything could happen.

The A's are looking for help at second base primarily, but another outfielder and/or starting pitcher wouldn't go amiss.

"I don't try to get too high or low about it,'' Melvin said. "If you get too high about it, you get disappointed (if nothing happens). And, again, I feel like we have a really good team. So if nothing happens, I'm absolutely fine with that.

"If Billy feels like he has something to improve our team, I'm all for that, as well.''

Asked if he expected the A's to field the same team Friday against Kansas City in Oakland, Melvin was to the point, saying "I don't know.''

  • Coco Crisp probably will not play for the A's in the homestand opener against the Kansas City Royals Friday as he continues to deal with neck strain the result of whiplash.

    When exactly Crisp, who hasn't played since Saturday and who has missed time off and on with neck problems since the initial injury on May 7, will be back in the lineup the club can't say.

    Melvin did say Crisp is being treated with anti-inflammatories and that the club hoped to have an idea when he might return to action after seeing him on Friday. Crisp flew back to the Bay Area after the Rangers series Sunday rather than come with the club to Houston.


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  • Billy Burns was in the Wednesday lineup as the leadoff hitter, just like he was much of the time in spring training. This, however, is his first big league start, so the stakes are a little elevated.

    But Melvin told Burns, promoted to the big leagues when Craig Gentry's broken right hand forced the backup center fielder on to the disabled list, before the game to discount most of the hubbub.

    "One of the reasons I put him in the leadoff spot is that's where he's comfortable,'' Melvin said. "I debated where I would hit him in the lineup today, but this is the same thing as we did in the spring. We put him in the leadoff spot and let him go out and do his thing. That's what we're going to do today.

    "You don't want to put too much pressure on a guy and say he expect too much out of him. I just want him to go out there and have some fun. It can be a little overwhelming that first big league game. I can tell you that from experience.''

    Burns led the team in plate appearances this spring, and for that reason he knows most everyone on the roster from having played with them. Melvin said that's important for Burns to be able feel at ease. And Burns having gotten his first big league at-bat out of the way in a pinch-hitting situation Monday factors in as well.

    "It was key that we did give him that first big league at-bat the other day,'' Melvin said. "Get that out of the way. So now he can go out there and do his thing. And that's what I told him. `I've got you leading off. I'm going to give you the same reins in spring training. It's the same game, it's the same dimensions, don't put too much pressure on yourself. You've got a lot of guys behind you. Don't feel like you have to overly go out there, and we're relying on you to be productive.'

    "It helps (he played in spring training). Spring training is a little bit different. But it's a fact that he's comfortable around the guys and we have a loose clubhouse, and they make him feel comfortable in there. It all goes into trying to make a guy at ease before his first big league start.''

    For more on the A's, see John Hickey's Inside the A's blog at ibabuzz.com/athletics. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JHickey3.