Outlook: Straily looks to limit walks to be reliable

PHOENIX -- Dan Straily isn't so much concerned about results as he is progress this spring, so consider his Sunday outing a success.

The young righty, who will likely open the season as Oakland's fifth starter, walked three in 3 1/3 scoreless innings against the White Sox, but he also limited them to two hits and struck out two.

Five days before, he had been tagged for three runs and four hits in two-plus innings in his Cactus League debut.

"I felt a lot more in control, not necessarily of the game, but of my body," Straily said. "I felt more like I was able to focus on what I needed to work on and was able to get some things done today, stuff that doesn't show up in the box score -- throwing a first-pitch curveball for a strike, throwing a two-seamer into a right-hander for a strike instead of just barreling it off the plate, throwing the changeup in the zone. Things like that, that for me, I was very unhappy with last outing and was able to fix in my side work and take into the game today."

Straily was most pleased with his fastball command, which allowed him to collect a few more ground-ball outs than his last time out. As for the walks, he was "just missing," he said, but eliminating them now becomes a priority for his next start.

"That's just part of early on in the season for me," Straily said. "First couple times out, it's going to happen.

"It's frustrating because, more often than not, those guys end up scoring and so I have to get that problem taken care of. You can't go 0-2 on a guy and walk him. You can't walk the leadoff guy in an inning, some of the baseball don'ts that I was doing out there. So maybe once I get back to 2-2, just make sure that pitch is over the plate."

Barton day to day with hamstring strain

MIN@OAK: Barton gives A's three-run lead with homer

PHOENIX -- Daric Barton's left hamstring strain was revealed to be a mild one Sunday morning, so the A's have deemed the first baseman day to day.

"He'll be day to day," said manager Bob Melvin, "but it's probably going to be several days. Those things, when you get a strain like that, it's something you don't want to mess around with because it could linger the whole season."

It's possible that Barton, who suffered the injury Saturday, will be sidelined at least a week and maybe even longer, considering the typical timetable for these types of strains. That could potentially put a wrench in his push for an Opening Day roster spot as the backup first baseman. He's only compiled nine at-bats, with four hits and four walks.

The A's will continue to get a look at Alberto Callaspo, another potential platoon partner for Brandon Moss, at first base, though Callaspo is set to make the team as one of its most versatile infielders. Nate Freiman, who hit .304 against left-handed pitching last season, is also in the mix.

Barton, the A's longest-tenured player, is out of options and in camp on a non-guaranteed Major League deal.

Worth noting

• Catcher Derek Norris (back spasms) was back on the field Sunday morning and taking part in limited baseball activities. He's been held out of games for five straight days and won't play again Monday. Melvin said Tuesday is a possibility.

• Outfielder Craig Gentry, who has been nursing a lower back strain since the first week of workouts, ran on the field Saturday for the first time since suffering the injury, according to Melvin.

"That's a step in the right direction for him," he said.

There's no timetable for Gentry to get in his first Cactus League game.

• Lefty Tommy Milone, currently considered the sixth man of the rotation, allowed two unearned runs in Sunday's game, giving up just one hit with no walks and two strikeouts over four solid innings.

• As part of the first round of cuts, the A's on Sunday reassigned pitchers Andrew Werner, Jose Flores and Jeremy McBryde and catchers Dusty Brown and Bruce Maxwell to Minor League camp. Outfielder Shane Peterson and pitchers Michael Ynoa and Raul Alcantara are expected to be optioned to the Minors on Monday morning.

That would leave Oakland with 47 players in camp.