By Joe Stiglich
Sunday, March 1st, 2009 at 4:14 pm in Spring Training.
A few quick notes before I make the long drive from Tucson back to Scottsdale. …
It was a sloppy day for the A’s defense in a 9-7 loss to the Diamondbacks. The winds were tricky, as Travis Buck had trouble with a Stephen Drew drive in the first inning that tailed away from him in left field. Center fielder Javier Herrera and left fielder Matt Carson let a fly drop between them in the sixth, and Jack Hannahan threw two balls away at third base.
On the bright side for the A’s, Ryan Sweeney hit his first homer, a solo shot in the fifth. A great debate among scouts is whether Sweeney will ever develop the power in games that he shows in batting practice. Bob Geren said Sweeney was crushing balls in BP today, and that a good sign was he was making contact farther out in front of the plate than normal, which generates more power.
Geren again was impressed with the fastball shown by right-handed prospect Vin Mazzaro, who had three strikeouts in two innings. “He had good run on it,” Geren said.
Jason Giambi isn’t known as a great defender at first, but he’s made a couple of nice plays in these early games. “The last couple of years I’ve worked hard on it,” Giambi said of his defense. “I feel like I’m moving around good.”
The A’s have the first of their four Cactus League offdays tomorrow, then Sean Gallagher takes the mound against his old team, the Cubs, Tuesday in Mesa. …