Addison Russell was happy to be back at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton.
“It feels great,” said Russell following his 2-for-3 performance in his first rehab game for the Stockton Ports. “Especially in Stockton where I’m pretty familiar with the area, familiar with some of the guys that I’ve played with, familiar with the fans. I love this ballpark. So, it feels great to be back.”
It didn’t take Russell long to get reacquainted with the Cal League.
In his first at-bat since tearing his hamstring on April 4, the Oakland Athletics top prospect smashed a line-drive single to left field in the first inning of the Ports game on Sunday afternoon.
The 20-year-old then promptly tested test his health by taking off and stealing second base.
In his second at bat, Russell worked the count full before lining a single to right field to drive in a run.
The shortstop then struck out on three pitches in his third at-bat, lunging at a curveball off the plate. In his fourth and final trip to the plate, Russell drew a five-pitch walk.
In the field, the 2013 Cal League Rookie of the year handled all the plays that came his way. Russell even made a diving stop in the third inning, but was unable to get up in time to throw out the runner at first. He exited the game after the seventh inning as had been planned.
For now, there’s no time line for when Russell will return to Double-A Midland where he began the season.
“There’s no set date. That’s all in the air, but as soon as I find out we’ll just go from there.”
Before the game, Stockton manager Ryan Christenson told play-by-play broadcaster Zack Bayrouty that he expected Russell to remain with the team through Saturday.