Geren discusses backup infielders

Checking in from Papago, where a Sports Illustrated photo crew took up residence in the A’s clubhouse this morning. SI is doing a story on the A’s, with a focus on Jason Giambi. The team’s offseason moves seem to have caught the attention of the national media this spring.

Moving on …

–Manager Bob Geren talked a little about the candidates for the backup infielder spot. Assuming the A’s roster includes a healthy Eric Chavez at third and Mark Ellis at second, Bobby Crosby at shortstop and the Daric Barton/Jason Giambi combo at first, that would leave room for one backup infielder. Geren mentioned Jack Hannahan, Cliff Pennington, Gregorio Petit, Eric Patterson and non-roster players Joe Dillon and Corey Wimberly as candidates. Wimberly also can play outfield (so can Patterson), but Geren said he wants Wimberly working mostly in the infield this spring, so he can be tutored by infield coach Mike Gallego. … Hannahan has the most experience of this group, but considering he hit .218 last season, he’s far from a lock.

–Speaking of Wimberly, a little tidbit I didn’t squeeze into today’s notebook: Considering he’s one of the A’s fastest players in camp, I asked Wimberly who was faster between him and Rajai Davis, hands down the speediest player on the A’s roster last season. Wimberly gave the nod to Davis. “I may be a little quicker out of the box because I’m starting from the left side,” said Wimberly, who’s actually a switch hitter. “I think he’s probably a little bit faster.”

–Here’s the pitching schedule as games start next week:
Tuesday’s intrasquad game at Phoenix Municipal Stadium: Edgar Gonzalez, Brad Ziegler, Kevin Cameron, Andrew Carignan, Andrew Bailey.

Wednesday’s Cactus League opener vs. Milwaukee in Maryvale: Josh Outman, Gio Gonzalez, Vin Mazzaro, Chris Schroder, Jeff Gray, Jared Lansford, Jerry Blevins, Arnold Leon, Tyson Ross.

Thursday vs. the Angels in Tempe: Sean Gallagher, Brett Anderson, Tyson Ross (if he doesn’t throw Wednesday), Brett Hunter, Santiago Casilla, Michael Wuertz, Joey Devine.

–Catcher Joel Galarraga arrived in camp, so everybody is here now

–Last but not least, after I mentioned the Dodgers as the possible favorite to sign middle infielder Orlando Cabrera, they went and agreed to terms w/Orlando Hudson as their second baseman. We’ll see if this re-ignites the A’s pursuit of Cabrera …

Joe Stiglich