Jack Cust’s recent struggles were brought up during today’s pregame manager’s session, but Bob Geren really doesn’t seem all too concerned about his designated hitter. He took the positive route and mentioned his two hits last night. However, it’s really hard to ignore his strikeout looking on a 3-2 pitch with runners on second and third and just one out, which brings to mind the big picture of his recent producing slump. His third-inning RBI double in last night’s game was his first RBI in 14 games. It’s pretty well-known by now that Cust is a streaky hitter — he had 15 RBIs over his previous 10 games before that ugly stretch. But your DH, especially one who often hits in the No. 4 hole, has to be notching those hits with runners in scoring position. Geren, though, sees nothing wrong with his current approach.
Chris Carter told me today he’s not too worried about his career-opening hitless streak. Geren isn’t either. In fact, the A’s skipper said today, “He’s going to have a good day today. He looks confident.” We shall see, but either way, it’s still fun watching Carter get a taste of the big leagues. He said today he loves “playing in stadiums with fans” and added, “I’m not used to being in an outfield where fans are yelling at me.” I didn’t want to break the news to him that he might not see so many next week in Oakland…
Geren said Andrew Bailey will throw a bullpen tomorrow, and the next step for him — whether it’s another bullpen, a simulated game, a rehab assignment, etc. — will be determined by how he feels coming out of the side session. He did say, though, that a rehab assignment may not be necessary, so — assuming all goes well tomorrow — Bailey could be lifted off the DL at some point on the next homestand.
It seems as though there’s really no rush in getting Conor Jackson back in Oakland. He went 0-for-3 with a walk and strikeout while playing nine innings for Sacramento last night, and he was slated to play nine more for the River Cats tonight. Geren simply said he’ll be back when he’s ready. I don’t think Jackson’s presence will be a difference-maker for this club right now, but it’d be nice to see what he can do after only playing in 14 games with the A’s following the trade. At the same time, given Oakland’s injury history, it’s probably best to take it slowly with Jackson. His return would also create quite an interesting outfield situation, especially with Carter now in the mix.
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