A’s vs. Cubs: Pregame notes

It’s a chilly morning here at Phoenix Muni, where wet field conditions have forced the players to undergo their workouts over at Papago before they hit the road for today’s Cactus League opener against the host Cubs in Mesa. Here are your starting lineups:

OAKLAND

Crisp, CF
Barton, 1B
Willingham, LF
Suzuki, DH
LaRoche, 3B
Carson, RF
Powell, C
Sogard, SS
Tolleson, 2B
Cahill, P

CHICAGO

Fukudome, RF
Castro, SS
Byrd, CF
Ramirez, 3B
Pena, 1B
Soriano, LF
Soto, C
DeWitt, 2B
Zambrano, P

Notes: Fifth-starter candidates Tyson Ross, Bobby Cramer and Josh Outman, as well as
relievers Brad Ziegler, Joey Devine and non-roster invitee Danny
Farquhar
, are expected to get work in the game as well. Ross, Cramer and Outman, as well as Cahill, will be limited to about 35 pitches. Geren is hoping from two innings from each of them … David DeJesus was slated to play today, but he’s feeling under the weather. … Michael Wuertz (shoulder) will begin throwing again today, likely 30-40 throws from a distance of 90-100 feet. … Normally we’re used to seeing Eric Sogard at second base and Steve Tolleson at shortstop, but Geren said he wrote his lineup out the way he did for that very reason. He hasn’t seen enough of Sogard at shortstop, and he reiterated that the winner of the utility role battle will be “who plays shortstop best.” Obviously other factors are considered, but given the fact Cliff Pennington is coming off shoulder surgery, strong shortstop skills represent a “major factor,” Geren said. Both Sogard and Tolleson will see plenty time there this spring, as will Andy LaRoche and Josh Horton. … Pennington will stay away from the batter’s box for at least the first week of games, as he takes it slow with his shoulder, but Geren said he might get to play a little defense. The A’s are pacing it with him, and so far there have been no setbacks. “We’d like to keep it that way,” Geren said. … Hideki Matsui isn’t making the trip to Mesa, but he’ll be in the lineup against the Angels tomorrow and could see 2-3 at-bats in the DH role, Geren said. The skipper’s morning media session was interrupted by the sound of shrieking girls yelling for Matsui as he walked across the field. “It’s the Oscars for him every day,” Geren said. “He gets the red carpet treatment every day. … That will never happen to me.”

1 Comment

I agree Raul rtenriig is unlikely. I’m sure teammates are being supportive, and certainly there remains a lot of money on the table, though day-by-day that amount goes down, however little. Pride can work both ways: too proud to quit, or too proud to go on like this. But I’d think “going on like this” would have to be quite a bit longer for that kind of personal realization to set in. I suspect he turns it around a bit, but it’s certainly painful to watch in the meantime.

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