PHOENIX (AP) -The Oakland Athletics officially took third baseman Eric Chavez's name off the roster of players going to Japan on Saturday.
The six-time Gold Glove winner will remain in Phoenix to work out at the A's minor league facility to continue his recovery from offseason back surgery. The Athletics open the season with two games in Japan against the Red Sox on March 25-26.
``He's just not ready to play,'' A's manager Bob Geren said. ``He'll stay here and continue his focus on getting ready.''
Chavez remains on a strict program, which will be monitored by the A's training staff in coordination with the minor league staff.
``We'll be in direct contact,'' Geren said. ``When he's ready to play, he'll play.''
The 30-year-old Chavez also had offseason operations on both shoulders and hasn't played in a game this spring. He was only recently cleared to resume scaled-down workouts less than two weeks after receiving an injection to help ease inflammation in his lower back.
He had back spasms last year that landed him on the disabled list for the final two months of the season.
Chavez, who hit .240 with 15 home runs in an injury-shortened 2007 season, has struggled with back and arm problems for two years. He appeared in just 90 games last year, his 10th with the A's.
Additionally, outfielder Carlos Gonzalez will stay behind to continue rehab on a strained left hamstring that has bothered him for the past week.
Gonzalez came to the A's as a highly-regarded prospect as part of the trade that sent Dan Haren to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Another player from that deal is also injured. Aaron Cunningham broke his left wrist diving into second during last Saturday's game and will be out for up to eight weeks.

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