Barton, Cespedes and feats of strength
A quick roundup of the morning’s news:
- Daric Barton will make his Cactus League debut tomorrow and will DH against the host White Sox at Camelback Ranch. Barton recently restarted his throwing program but is still at least a week away from appearing in a game at first base. That makes it very unlikely he’ll be able to join the team in Japan, considering the charter leaves in 11 days. Like his other players, Melvin would like to get Barton around 40 at-bats this spring. Some of those, it seems, will have to come in extended Spring Training, while Brandon Allen or Kila Ka’aihue get a shot at the everyday first-base job to start the season.
- The A’s have always envisioned Yoenis Cespedes in the middle of the order, and it didn’t take long for him to land there. Just one day removed from his big debut, Melvin planted the Cuban sensation in the three hole for Sunday’s contest with the Royals. He’ll DH today and get tomorrow off and will follow a two-on, one-off schedule, like several other players are on.
- Seth Smith is in right field today, and Melvin says he and Josh Reddick will see time in both corners this spring. I imagine, though, that we’ll soon see plenty games with Cespedes in center and Coco Crisp in left, so that the team can make a decision soon on how they want to handle the two outfielders moving forward.
- The A’s received their annual motivational talk from team chaplain Donnie Moore on Sunday. Moore has been a steady presence with the team for more than 20 years, and like he’s done for the past few, brought in a team to perform unusual feats of strength to convey a message of positive thought. What, you ask, are unusual feats of strength? Well, the 30-minute performance included Moore and Co. rolling up a metal frying pan, breaking stacks of bricks, tearing a phone book in half and breaking a soda can in half. Normal, right? Melvin, new to the show, thoroughly enjoyed it and was even a guest participant at the end. I didn’t have the best view, but let’s just say it involved the breaking of a brick over his chest with a sledge hammer — or something like that.