Sunday notes: Sheets, Cahill and more

Tidbits from a rather quiet Sunday that saw way too much rain pound Phoenix Muni for the majority of the day:

Ben Sheets threw live BP and said everything felt great. Among those who stood in against him: Ryan Sweeney, Daric Barton, Kevin Kouzmanoff and Jake Fox. As I’ve noted before, Sheets has turned out to be quite the character around the clubhouse. On the mound, though, he turns into a completely different creature. Very intense. Less than five minutes after walking off the mound, though, he was back to his joking self. And if anything, he learned to stay away from the Mexican burrito spread right before he heads out to throw…

Bob Geren was very impressed with Trevor Cahill’s BP session today and said his performance was “the best I’ve seen from him.” Looked like he had all his pitches working for him, and he was getting quite the response from guys watching him in the dugout.

As you’ve probably already read here, the A’s signed veteran right-handers Jason Jennings and Brett Tomko today. Buzz is already circulating about what these moves mean for the current pitching staff. Are these additions simply Billy Beane’s way of adding more depth to a team with a longstanding injury history, or might this bring to question Justin Duchscherer and Sheets’ health? Hard to say right now, but I’d like to hear your thoughts.

I was told today that the A’s exhibition opener against the Cubs on Thursday will be on the radio for the first time in more than a decade. So for those of you within range of KTRB-860 in the Bay Area, you’ll be able to listen to all the sights and sounds of Oakland’s opener.

And if you didn’t get a chance to see this video of Rickey Henderson lending some advice to Rajai Davis, make sure you do so.

One final note to leave with you: As Jayson Stark observed today, this is the last Sunday without a baseball game to watch until November 7.

1 Comment

I wouldn’t put too much thought into how Tomko would affect the roster since he probably won’t be ready to join the team until May. As for Jennings, I see him in the mix for the long reliever job — if the A’s do in fact decide to have a long reliever on the roster. Look for Jennings to battle it out with DiNardo this spring, with Jennings holding the slight edge while DiNardo experiments with his new arm slot.
With the A’s, much depends on who survives the spring without injuries. The overabundance of pitching depth should be a comfort, considering Sheets, Duchscherer, Braden, and Devine are all working their way back from varying injuries. Assuming all stay healthy, there are three pitching jobs up for grab: fifth starter, middle reliever, and long reliever. Just about any pitcher could win one of those spots with an outstanding spring, but my gut tells me Gio, Cassevah, and Jennings will be shining their white cleats come April.

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