Another Wednesday wrap-up
Your Cactus League Opening Day roster against the Cubs tomorrow:
Some big names (Chavez, Ellis, Kouzmanoff, Suzuki, Crisp, Cust) are missing from the list of guys making the trip over to Mesa, but at the same time there’s plenty worth watching. How will Raj handle left-field duties? What can Barton and Sweeney do at the top of the lineup? Plenty of questions to ask, but we also have to keep in mind these guys will probably only get three or four innings of work in, not to mention it’s only the first game — so judgment need be met with caution.
Notes from today’s three-inning intrasquad game:
Manager Bob Geren said Gio Gonzalez looked sharp after striking out two in a 1-2-3 inning. “His breaking ball is in midseason form,” the A’s skipper said. “He got the breaking ball over, and guys were swinging over it. He was very impressive.” The A’s lefty, vying for the fifth rotation spot along with Cahill and Vin Mazzaro, also had his changeup working well. Just ask Rajai, who struck out against Gio after watching a nasty curveball drift right by him. “Oh boy, I didn’t know what to do with that,” he said with a grin. Seems to be a trend so far this spring…
It appears that the hard-throwing Henry Rodriguez is officially in competition for a bullpen spot. “If he gets command of that zone, he could be ready real quick,” Geren said.
Check back in tomorrow for more updates from Mesa, and don’t forget to follow me on twitter (http://twitter.com/JaneMLB) for plenty of updates throughout the day.