Results tagged ‘ Bob Geren ’

Duke starts, Crisp back in lineup

Lots of tidbits to share this morning, but first your starting lineup vs. the Mariners in Peoria:

Crisp DH, Barton 1B, Suzuki C, Kouz 3B, Sweeney RF, Patterson CF, Gross LF, Rosales 2B, Pennington SS, Duchscherer SP

  • Mark Ellis was scratched from today’s lineup due to tightness in both hamstrings. Adam Rosales is now in there playing second base. If there was ever such a thing as a good time for this kind of injury, it’s now – the A’s have tomorrow and most of Wednesday morning off before playing the Giants that night.
  • Brett Anderson was scheduled to make his fourth spring start Monday, but he woke up with neck stiffness so he’ll pitch in a Minor League game tomorrow. Therefore, Justin Duchscherer will not only make his first pitching appearance today, but he’ll make his first start since 2008. As a result, it appears the pitching rotation is taking form and could look something like this come Opening Day: Ben Sheets, Dallas Braden, Duchscherer, Anderson, [insert fifth starter]. That’s a nice R-L-R-L in the first four slots, and assuming Trevor Cahill grabs that last spot, another righty could fill the rotation. Anderson will pitch in the Double-A game tomorrow while Gio Gonzalez will get his work in at the Triple-A game over at Papago Park on the team’s scheduled off day.
  • As you can see, Coco Crisp is back in the lineup today after having been sidelined with a strained left hamstring March 10. Manager Bob Geren said both he and Rajai Davis will start Wednesday’s night game against the visiting Dodgers in the outfield, marking the first time all spring we could potentially be seeing the same outfield slated to start Opening Night.
  • The A’s have another night game Thursday at the Giants’ stadium in Scottsdale, where Jason Jennings will make his second start. Earlier in the day, Sheets will toss six innings in a Minor League game to “make sure he gets his six ups and downs in a controlled environment,” Geren said. 
  • Joey Devine, Craig Breslow and Andrew Bailey are all throwing today. Devine threw yesterday at 80 feet and said he’s going to attempt 100 feet this morning. The right-hander will then take Tuesday off and resume flat ground throwing Wednesday. He’s hoping to throw off the mound by the end of the week and resume his throwing program by next week. Meanwhile, Breslow and Bailey are slated to throw sides on Wednesday, which is good news for the recently injury-prone bullpen.
  • Not so good news came in the form of John Meloan’s elbow, which will require season-ending surgery. The 25-year-old righty pitched in just two games this spring for a total of 1 2/3 innings, in which he allowed four hits and two earned runs. He’ll soon visit with Dr. James Andrews, who has performed Tommy John surgery on a few current A’s players, including Bailey, Devine and Josh Outman.  

Wuertz back in action; Braden goes five

Michael Wuertz showed off his multitasking
talents today by balancing nine-month-old son Braxton in one arm while talking
to reporters about his first spring appearance. The A’s righty gave up two
hits, a walk and a run in his outing but said he felt good and saw results
he was expecting. “That’s kind of always how my Spring Training games have
gone,” he said. Since Wuertz missed the first couple weeks of spring with
shoulder soreness, he’s still building up arm strength and, subsequently, can’t
get much out of his slider right now. He said he threw three in the frame, one
that was taken for a hit and another that led to a walk. At the same time,
Wuertz said he expected it to be that way, so he heavily relied on his
changeup. He mentioned his shoulder felt fine and, at the end of the day, “it
was just good to get out in game action, especially against another colored
uniform.” Meanwhile, manager Bob Geren

called it a “decent first outing.”

 

Slightly in
the shadows of Wuertz’ outing was Dallas
Braden
, who started the game and threw close to 80 pitches in five innings
of work. He gave up three runs (two earned) on eight hits while fanning half a
dozen and was quite pleased with his fastball command and changeup. However, he
wasn’t too thrilled with his fielding. Braden committed an error by missing a
catch and noted he felt rather “embarrassed” and “disappointed” since pitchers
spend half of their spring doing fielding drills.

 

Braden also
talked about how his numb foot affected him for the first time in a game
situation this spring. He lost his balance on a pitch to Chris Dickerson in the fifth because he couldn’t feel how far back he was. The southpaw half-heartedly reached out to reporters for ideas to ease his foot, as he’s already
using insoles, metal plates and toe guards, among other things. “I think a
witch doctor is coming tomorrow with a bucket of chicken,” he joked. Braden isn’t
too worried about the foot, though. After all, he may never regain feeling in
it. “I can’t just wait around for it,” he said. “I’ve got baseballs to throw.”

Dribblers: Coco Crisp is slated to be back in the lineup tomorrow after having been diagnosed with a strained left hamstring March 10. He’ll likely DH before making his first spring start in the outfield the next game. … Rajai Davis (sore abdomen) took batting practice Sunday and told me he was planning on doing all baseball activity. He should be back in tomorrow’s lineup as well. … Rehabbing pitchers Joey Devine (shoulder) and Craig Breslow (elbow) played catch today, and there’s a possibility Andrew Bailey (elbow) will pick up a ball tomorrow.

Friday pregame: Injury updates

Joey Devine – who has yet to pitch in a game — is “getting better every day,” says manager Bob Geren. However, Devine didn’t throw again Friday, but Geren said Saturday or Sunday is a “possibility.” Devine has been treating a dose of
tendinitis in his surgically repaired arm and hasn’t been on the mound in more than a week. It remains to be seen
whether the A’s reliever will be ready to go come Opening Night.

Right-hander Michael Wuertz, who threw for the first time in a Minor League game Thursday (21 pitches), told manager Bob Geren that he felt “great” when he came into the clubhouse Friday. That means he’ll likely make his Cactus League debut by weekend’s end. “It sounds like he’s doing fine,” Geren said. “Hopefully we’ll let him throw soon.” 

Geren said Coco Crisp (strained left hamstring) ran sprints Thursday and is “two, three, four days away” from seeing game action again. The A’s new center fielder, who missed almost all of last season after undergoing surgeries on both his shoulders, will likely DH in his first game back and potentially play defense for the first time this spring soon after. “His hamstring is real minor,” Geren said. “And his arm’s good — that’s the good news.”

Thursday postgame notes

Manager Bob Geren described left-handed starter Gio Gonzalez as “unhittable” during the first three innings of Thursday’s game against the visiting D-backs, who drew a sold-out crowd of over 9,000. (Despite announced attendance, that’s more than the A’s get at some regular-season home games in Oakland.) Anyway, Gonzalez all but fell apart in the fourth frame, surrendering three of his four walks in that inning while appearing more than a little frustrated. After exiting with one on and two out in that inning, he talked with reporters and — without coming out and saying it directly — expressed discontentment with what he called “a touchy subject” on some of the calls he was getting. However, Geren said that happens sometimes and doesn’t excuse his mound composure. “I agree (with the calls), but that’s part of the game,” Geren said. “There were a couple close calls I told Curt (Young), but you need to shake that off.” Aside from that inning, Gonzalez said he was pleased with the way his changeup is coming along, noting that it got him plenty swings and misses, along with ground balls.

After Brad Ziegler induced a groundout to end the semi-ugly fourth frame, Tyson Ross came in and quietly tossed three solid innings, giving up one run on two hits while walking one and striking out seven. “He’s really come a long way in the past 10 months,” Geren said. “Today he showed just how dangerous his slider and sinker can be.”

This morning, Geren confirmed what Coco Crisp told me yesterday: The A’s center fielder could be back in the lineup by weekend’s end. You can read the full story from Wednesday here.

Also of note: Adam Rosales continues to get a good amount of playing time and productive at-bats, making it harder to imagine him not being on the 25-man roster come Opening Night. He was 2-for-3 in the win and has now reached base safely in nine of his last 10 games. So I’m wondering: How many of you genuinely see Rosales making a true competition out of the starting shortstop job? Cliff Pennington is 3-for-7 over his last three games and still seems to have the vote for the starting job from A’s management, but Rosales’ consistent play this spring is hard to ignore. At the same time, Rosales is not out of options. Eric Patterson is, but will that even factor into Oakland’s roster decisions in less than two weeks? Let me know what you think.

   

Wednesday postgame notes

When speaking to manager Bob Geren following the A’s 6-1 loss to the Giants today, I learned that Rajai Davis’ injury isn’t actually quad-related, as the team originally announced, but rather tied to abdominal pain near the left side of his stomach. Davis was missing from the clubhouse during the times I was down there throughout the game, but the injury doesn’t sound too serious and I’ll make sure to get you all an update tomorrow morning.

As for the game, I think Brett Anderson made everyone forget about the countless team injuries for an hour while he pitched four solid innings of two-hit ball — three of which he retired Giants hitters in order. While talking to media after his performance, Anderson seemed very pleased, and rightfully so, with the command he showed using all of his pitches. The most notable difference between the Brett Anderson of 2009 and the Brett Anderson of what Dallas Braden likes to refer to as “oh-ten” is the strides he’s made with his changeup. That one pitch allowed Anderson to really keep his pitch count down today. In fact, he only threw 50 through four. “Last year I was throwing too many pitches,” he said, “so I could never really go very deep in a game.” Geren was also impressed with his pitcher, saying he was “outstanding” and did a “great job of using his pitches all over the plate.”

Kevin Kouzmanoff made his second throwing error of the spring in the third inning, but made up for the mistake by going 2-for-3 at the plate with an impressive RBI hit to left-center that he turned into a double. The A’s new third baseman, who entered the game with a career .273 regular-season mark against starter Barry Zito, is looking more and more comfortable at the plate every time out there.

Kouzmanoff, along with fellow scheduled Opening Day starters Mark Ellis, Kurt Suzuki, Ryan Sweeney, etc., will get a second consecutive start against the visiting Diamondbacks tomorrow at Phoenix Muni. Fifth-starter candidate Gio Gonzalez is slated to take the mound, and he’ll be followed by Tyson Ross, Henry Rodriguez and Brad Ziegler.

That’s all I’ve got for you… Happy St. Patty’s Day to all!

http://twitter.com/JaneMLB  

Inside the training room

The A’s sure made up for their off day Tuesday by providing plenty of news on the injury front first thing Wednesday morning. For those who can’t keep track of it all, here’s a quick rundown:

  • Andrew Bailey is out five to seven days with lateral epicondylitis, a condition usually caused by overuse that involves soreness on the outside of the upper arm near the elbow.
  • Craig Breslow will not throw two to four days as he treats medial tendinitis in his elbow.
  • Joey Devine was supposed to play catch for the first time in a week after experiencing tendinitis in his surgically repaired elbow, but he took another day off and will attempt to throw “free and easy” up to 80 feet on Thursday.
  • Justin Duchscherer tossed three innings (45 pitches) in a Minor League intrasquad game Wednesday morning and came out of it feeling great. He’s hoping to make his Cactus League debut Monday when the A’s travel to play the Mariners and believes he’ll be good to go come the start of the season.
  • Michael Wuertz has yet to pitch in a game and was scratched from his scheduled appearance in the same intrasquad game in which Duchscherer pitched. Manager Bob Geren said the right-hander’s shoulder isn’t bouncing back well, but after checking in with Wuertz this afternoon, it sounds like he could see game action as early as tomorrow. He mentioned he deals with this same shoulder issue every spring after getting in a lot of work the year before but believes 19 days (the time between now and Opening Day) is plenty of time to get on track.
  • Rajai Davis was a late scratch in Wednesday’s game due to what was announced as tenderness in his left quadriceps. He was replaced in center field by Eric Patterson.
  • Coco Crisp continues to progress with his strained left hamstring and is still following his throwing program to get his surgically repaired shoulder ready for Opening Day. Crisp has only seen time in the DH spot this spring.

That should do it. Hopefully I’ll hear more on Davis by the end of the day. The news about Bailey and Breslow took everyone by surprise this morning, but I think both will be back on the mound in no time. As for Wuertz, I wasn’t too convinced about him being Opening-Day ready, but after speaking with him, it sounds he’ll be just fine.

And not that there’s anything funny about either of Bailey or Breslow’s injuries, but I find it slightly amusing that both are experiencing elbow soreness at the same time. It was just a couple days ago I was joking with them that they seem to be attached at the hip. Wherever you see Bailey, usually Breslow is close by, and vice versa. Even during the offfseason, the two pitchers lived just 10 minutes from one another in Connecticut and worked out with each other almost every day. They’re also roommates here in Arizona…and now training room buddies.  

As react to Nomars retirement

Nomar Garciaparra officially announced his retirement today, and while the news didn’t surprise many around the A’s clubhouse, it gave them reason to talk about the role he’s played not just as a player but also as a person for the game of baseball. I was around Nomar a bit last year when he was with the A’s and was always struck by the way he carried himself as a true pro and as a mentor to a lot of the younger guys. Some around the clubhouse hadn’t heard the news when approached about it, but everyone pretty much had the same thing to say: Great guy. Great player. The A’s were truly lucky to have him around for a year…

Said manager Bob Geren: “He had a fantastic career. He’s obviously best known for what he did in Boston, so it’s good to see him retire as a Red Sox. He was a great player on the field, and when he wasn’t on the field he made some great contributions in helping the young guys in the clubhosue.

General manager Billy Beane also had nothing but gracious words to say about Nomar and really stressed how blessed he is to know him as a person. “He was a great talent,” Beane said. “He had a huge impact on the game.”

Injury news: Buck, Stassi, Meloan

2 p.m. I just learned that outfielder Travis Buck was scratched from Tuesday’s lineup due to dizziness in Surprise, Ariz., where the A’s are playing a split-squad game against the Royals. He was replaced in right field by Corey Brown, who went 3-for-4 with an RBI ground-rule double, two runs, a stolen base and a walk.

Buck is 1-for-5 at the plate in three games this spring and is fighting for an outfield spot along with Eric Patterson and Gabe Gross. He has made the A’s Opening Day roster in each of the last three seasons, but four stints on the disabled list and options to Sacramento in each of the last two years have limited him to just 156 games in that time at the Major League level. He does have a history of head problems, as he suffered a severe concussion in 2008 in Triple-A and also collided with Chris Denorfia last year in Sacramento. 

5:30 p.m.: Manager Bob Geren had no news on Buck, so I’m assuming he’ll be good to go tomorrow, but if I hear anything differently come morning, I’ll keep you updated.

In other injury news, 18-year-old catching prospect Max Stassi left the A’s game against the Rangers in Phoenix in the ninth inning with a right knee contusion after getting hit by a foul ball. The injury came just two frames after Stassi hit his first homer of the spring. “The baseball gods are funny like that,” he said after the game.

Stassi doesn’t think he’ll be game-ready again for about a week, so the next time he sees action will apparently be in Minor League camp, considering he noted that “the bad thing is I’m going down tomorrow.” Geren hasn’t said anything about cuts, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if some were made tomorrow considering Minor League camp is officially underway.

6 p.m. Also just got word that right-handed pitcher John Meloan left the game in Surprise accompanied by a trainer in the eighth inning with a 1-0 count on the batter. Will hopefully have more information on him first thing tomorrow.

Another note from that game: Jack Cust hit a ball over the right-field wall that bounced on the sidewalk over the fence across the four-lane street on one hop and into the water park.

A source who was at the game says the homer was the “farthest anyone can remember seeing a ball hit here.”
 

Duke news, plus postgame notes and more

All the postgame talk Saturday was preceded by an interesting pregame session with manager Bob Geren, who, when asked about the likelihood of Justin Duchscherer being ready for Opening Day, responded: “He’s still optimistic about Opening Day, but I don’t think so. Getting him built up to 100 pitches makes it difficult to do without six starts. Four of our starters are getting six starts, and [Trevor Cahill] is getting seven. He’s two or three weeks behind.” 

Duchscherer, in fact, IS still optimistic about being on the 25-man roster Opening Day. When approached by other reporters, he made it clear he still believes he’ll be good to go. He’s been throwing from the front of the mound and did so again Saturday, so I should have another update on that session tomorrow morning.
__________________
 
And now, some postgame dribblers for y’all… (Sheets’ Southern drawl must be wearing off on me):

Immediately after the game ended, Eric Patterson was en route to get stitches for the cut he got above his left eye when trying to grab a groundball that took a bad hop in the fifth inning. I’m told there was plenty blood, although I guess you really didn’t need to know that…

Flamethrower Henry Rodriguez threw the ball 98mph at least six or seven times in his one-inning stint today against the Angels, according to Geren. Equally impressive, Geren said, was Tyson Ross — who struck out two in two shutout innings of work. “He has a bright future, for sure,” the A’s skipper said. “And since he was in there early in the game, he faced a lot of Angels regulars. That was a good test for him.”

Coco Crisp enjoyed a successful Cactus League debut, leading off in the DH spot and going 2-for-3 with a double. He’ll continue to battle Jack Cust, Jake Fox and Eric Chavez for time in the DH role as he rehabs the surgically repaired shoulder that forced him to miss the majority of last season. “He had a real nice game,” Geren said. “Lots of power off the bat there.”
____________________

Leftover notes: Righty Jason Jennings, who — along with Brett Tomko — signed with the A’s on Feb. 28, threw a simulated game Saturday and is slated to throw after Gio Gonzalez in Monday’s home game against the Cubs. Meanwhile, Tomko showed up in the A’s clubhouse before today’s game and spoke about the irritated nerve in his right throwing arm. He also boasted about his five-month-old twins, Jack and Ty, and said there was no special reason for choosing those particular names other than the want to give them “manly” names. “You want them to have names that sound good as a kid,” he explained, “but also sound like good names when they’re older.”

Brett Anderson is on the bump tomorrow — weather permitting — and is scheduled to throw ahead of Matt Wright, Fautino De Los Santos, Cedrick Bowers, John Meloan and Brad Kilby.

See y’all at the Angels’ Tempe Diablo Stadium in the morning…  

Chavez: Im glad this days over

Eric Chavez made his game debut at first base today, playing five innings while going 1-for-2 with a triple in his first at-bat at the plate. After exiting the game, he spoke to reporters about a sense of relief he felt in putting the day behind him.

“I’m glad this day’s over,” Chavez said. “That one’s in the books. For me it’s about using that cliche, it’s one day at a time. I’m really enjoying myself while I’m out there.”

He’s also getting help from several people, the most recent being Brewers first base coach Ed Sedar.

“I was actually over at first base when I didn’t need to be today,” Chavez said with a laugh. “The first base coach said, ‘Hey, you don’t need to be here right now.’ He hooked me up.”

Manager Bob Geren said, aside from some footwork that can be improved, he liked what he saw from his six-time Gold Glove third baseman. Chavez made a couple impressive fielding plays and also had to deal with what he called “wild throws,” including overthrown tosses from Kevin Kouzmanoff and Lenny DiNardo — both of which resulted in errors.

“I’m still getting comfortable,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be completely comfortable. There are times I go out to third and am still not completely comfortable.”

At the same time, Chavez insists he still feels healthy — which is of bigger concern right now than how many outs he collects at first.

“I feel fine,” he said. “Only time can tell my situation. To be honest, I just need to get familiar with everything. The first pick-off throw was different for me, and then there were a couple wild throws today. I just have to take it all in.

As for his offensive game, Chavez looked like his old self right away when he collected the triple. All spring, he’s been saying that he’s most concerned about being productive offensively so as to give the team multiple options of where to use him on the field.

“I think as spring goes on, it will be the way I’m making contact,” he said of trying to gauge his comfort level with the bat. “I know when I hit the ball whether I’ve got the hand speed there and making good contact. It’s something I’ll be able to know as I get in there making some outs and taking pitches.”

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