Nakajima ruled out of Giants series

SAN FRANCISCO — While it’s not yet known whether shortstop Hiro Nakajima will require a trip to the disabled list for his left hamstring strain, the A’s are at least certain he won’t play in this weekend’s three-game exhibition series against the Giants.

The A’s ventured across the Bay Bridge for the first game of the series on Thursday, and it was during that time Nakajima was scheduled to be seen by the team’s doctors to determine the next course of action.

“I do know he will not play in this series, and then after that I’m not 100 percent sure,” manager Bob Melvin said at AT&T Park, “but I’ll probably have a better indication after the game.”

Uncertainty not only surrounds Nakajima’s health but his ability to compete in the big leagues. The Japanese shortstop struggled all spring, both on defense and at the plate, and his slow progression has cleared the way for Jed Lowrie to take over everyday shortstop duties.

The A’s aren’t yet ready to say as much, but there’s no denying that his injury only adds to an already difficult adjustment period. For now, though, they’re not ruling him out of the opening series against the Mariners that begins Monday. Even if healthy, Nakajima could be sent to the Minors to pick up more at-bats.

“It’s tough to say, it is,” Melvin said. “If he misses three games here and a couple back there, it would be difficult to get back into the swing of things, but I’m not really sure yet.”

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