A’s ready for Cactus League play
Here’s the first of approximately 200 lineups I’ll be posting this year, this one to be used Saturday for the A’s Cactus League opener against the Brewers in Maryvale:
Weeks 2B, Nakajima SS, Reddick RF, Moss 1B, Smith LF, Young CF, Jaso C, Donaldson 3B, Sizemore DH
Right-hander Jesse Chavez gets the start on the mound, with Justin Thomas, Bruce Billings, Mike Ekstrom, Arnold Leon and Fernando Rodriguez also scheduled to pitch in the game.
This is the first opportunity to see Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima in a game as a big leaguer, so the A’s are eager to see how his skill set translates from workouts to game action. Can he be a threat on the base paths? How can he handle an at-bat with runners on base? There are a lot of unknowns with him, so the evaluation process is about to ramp up a bit.
His double-play partner on Saturday, Jemile Weeks, will also be watched closely this spring, as the team waits to see if he can regain the form he showed in 2011. Bob Melvin has always said spring numbers usually don’t matter much, but Weeks’ will to determine whether he’s the best fit at second base by camp’s end. Same goes for Scott Sizemore, batting for the same job.
As for the regulars missing in the lineup (think Yoenis Cespedes, Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie and Derek Norris), they’ll all play Sunday against the Angels.