Results tagged ‘ Curt Young ’
Both Gio Gonzalez and Brett Anderson, the latter who was scratched from his Monday start due to neck stiffness, were scheduled to pitch in Minor League games today on the team’s off day. Mother Nature decided to switch things up, though. A pretty heavy rainfall through the night and into this morning forced the games to be canceled.
As a result, Gonzalez’s start was pushed back and he’ll now throw four innings after Trevor Cahill in tomorrow night’s game against the visiting Dodgers at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
Meanwhile, according to pitching coach Curt Young, Anderson threw 82 pitches in five innings in a simulated game and all went well.
The A’s have back-to-back night games beginning tomorrow, the first slated for 7:35 p.m. PT and Thursday’s Bay Bridge battle with the Giants scheduled for 7:05 p.m. PT in Scottsdale.
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.
4:00 p.m.: Justin Duchscherer’s scheduled nerve ablation procedure for noon today has been delayed until tomorrow at 11:30am, according to Bob Geren — who couldn’t say why it was moved back. The A’s right-hander has been dealing with an irritated sacroiliac joint, which connects the base of the spine to the pelvic bone. He was bothered by the same problem last year while rehabbing from minor elbow surgery and has had three cortisone shots for the joint, but it is no longer responding to the treatment. The ablation will burn off the nerve ends of his SI joint using radio waves to produce heat that will destroy the nerve and relieve the pain. The right-hander insists it’s a minor setback and was told that recovery time usually varies from one day to one week, but the team has to be concerned given his injury history. Plus, the burnt nerve will eventually grow back, so it is possible Duchscherer will have to undergo the procedure again sometime down the line.
Also from Geren: Dallas Braden, one of 13 guys to take in a bullpen session today, threw 35 pitches and “looked good.” When I asked Braden about how his healing foot responded, he replied: “The arm feels great.” … Also making a strong impression was Tyson Ross. “His delivery looks cleaner and cleaner every time he’s out there,” Geren said. … While passing by, pitching coach Curt Young noted that both Pedro Figueroa and Fautino De Los Santos had good outings. The latter, who the A’s will be careful with because he had elbow surgery in 2008, showed off his breaking ball inbetween some hard strikes.
Weather forecasts indicate the rain may be gone for good, so the A’s will presumably be back out on the field tomorrow morning at 9:30 for stretching at Phoenix Muni. Three days ’til position players report…
Lots of A’s — pitchers, catchers, position players — have been working out at the team’s Papago Park facilities in Phoenix even though pitchers/catchers don’t have to officially report until tomorrow. It’s easy to see why given the weather (77 degrees today) and easily accessible fields there. When I took my first trip to the park yesterday afternoon after a quick flight from Oakland, I made my way around the fields accompanied by only a squirrel or two. Today, though, the lots were filled when I wandered over there mid-morning. Some highlights:
I quickly ran into Justin Duchscherer, who is sporting a little more scruff than usual. He looks great and genuinely says he feels better than great — physically AND mentally. If you recall, Justin was ready to return to the team in August after recovering from elbow surgery. The only thing keeping him away from the field was his battle with depression, which he has since treated. Physical health is not an issue for him, and he will have no restrictions come Sunday when pitchers and catchers work out together for the first time. Justin lives in Arizona, so he’s been doing plenty of baseball activity all offseason. Today was one of the few times he’s been out to Papago with everyone, but trust me when I say he appears to be physically and psychologically healthy.
Brad Ziegler is dealing with what he calls typical allergies he always gets when he comes out to Arizona, leaving him with a slightly raspy voice. He got an allergy shot yesterday, though, and is not letting it affect his workouts. He threw a bullpen today right before Joey Devine, who received a good amount of encouragement from pitching coach Curt Young and bullpen coach Ron Romanick. Romanick has played a key role in guiding Devine along his rehab schedule. To read more about his quick recovery from Tommy John surgery, you can go here. Also, here’s a picture of Devine throwing off the mound today.
Jake Fox has to be one of the friendliest guys in the game. At least that’s the impression I got after he found me to introduce himself. Usually the reporters are the ones who have to make the effort to jump start the initial introduction process, but Fox came right over in catcher’s gear, which is why I didn’t even recognize him in the first place. He helped out with some bullpen sessions today before taking BP, and you’d think the guy has been around the team for years. Definitely a likable guy who should make friends fast and bring an all-around good personality into the clubhouse.
It didn’t take long to spot the highly anticipated Michael Taylor, who spent more than an hour taking BP while showering the outfield grass with hits left and right. Luckily there was a good amount of guys shagging balls – a group that included Cliff Pennington, who took part in his first full day of workouts Friday. Taylor looks just as you probably imagined — big. You can spot him a mile away, but at the same time he’s no Big Hurt or Big Papi. More trimmed and toned. Here’s a picture of him signing an autograph for an eager fan, who begged Taylor to wait around for a minute while he ran to his car to get one of Taylor’s baseball cards.
Travis Buck has been working out at the facilities for a couple of weeks and looks to be in great shape. I didn’t recognize him at first due to a hairstyle change. Gone are the Goldilocks days. Buck’s going with a much shorter ‘do now and is hoping the change will be a sign of good change to come at the plate, where his struggles have been the topic of much discussion this offseason after the A’s signed FA outfielder Gabe Gross.
I also had the chance to meet Max Stassi, the A’s fourth-round pick in last year’s draft. He was busy catching a few bullpens before I caught up with him and, not surprisingly, he’s yet another nice guy. Lots of those on the A’s roster every year it seems. And while Stassi is here as a non-roster invitee having only spent time with the A’s short-season Vancouver team, there’s no denying his excitement and work ethic. Looks like he’ll be a great addition to the big league team in a couple years.
Others floating around the facilities included Andrew Bailey, Ben Sheets, Trevor Cahill, Daric Barton, Mark Ellis, Eric Chavez, Tyson Ross and Jared Lansford (Carney’s boy), among others. As I mentioned before, pitchers and catchers report tomorrow, but it should be a quiet day over at Phoenix Muni. The players have been advised to take the day off, as they won’t get another off day until March 16 after they begin official workouts Sunday. However, I’ll be over there bright and early tomorrow, so look for more updates again here by afternoon and all throughout the day on Twitter. Hope to gather more pictures for you as well.
Off to find some dinner here in the desert. Any food recommendations around the Tempe/Scottsdale/Phoenix area are always welcome, as are any comments/rants/opinions about the A’s.