A’s ace Justin Duchscherer will visit a Phoenix-area specialist today, Dr. Doug Freedberg, to have his sore right elbow examined. Bob Geren said he believed Duchscherer also would get an MRI, but didn’t know if that would happen today. The A’s are waiting for the results from Duchscherer’s visit before deciding whether to shut him down for a period. Obviously this development is looking gloomier by the day for the A’s starting rotation, which is already very young and inexperienced even with a healthy Duchscherer.
–I checked in with Bobby Crosby this morning, who reiterated he thinks being traded is the best thing for him now that the A’s are signing Orlando Cabrera to play shortstop (the A’s still aren’t confirming Cabrera’s signing on the record, but it’s going to happen). But Crosby did say that he wouldn’t step forward and demand a trade. “I’m not going to ask for a trade. I’ll let them know when I talk to them that I want to be a shortstop somewhere. It’s not going to be me coming out demanding a trade. The ball’s going to be in their court.” I don’t expect Crosby to rock the boat too much and become a disruption. He doesn’t seem like that kind of guy in the time I’ve gotten to know him. But the truth is, I haven’t gotten any indication of substantial trade interest in him around the majors in recent months. So he may be stuck with serving as the A’s utility infielder. And knowing that third baseman Eric Chavez and second baseman Mark Ellis are no sure things to be 100 percent healthy, there could be at-bats for Crosby as a backup (though if the A’s signed Nomar Garciaparra, it could affect that situation).
–A note on the A’s signing of Cabrera that didn’t make it into my story today: The A’s lose their second-round pick to the White Sox, Cabrera’s former team, in June’s draft. Normally, signing a Type A free agent who was offered arbitration by his former team (as is the case w/Cabrera) costs the signing team a first-round pick. But the A’s have the 12th pick in this draft, and the top 15 picks in the first round are protected.
–Geren said Chavez’s shoulder responded “really well” when he tried making throws to first on the run. But the team is still giving him a few more days before starting him at third in a game.
–You’ll notice something interesting about today’s lineup vs. the Cubs: Jack Cust in the No. 2 spot for the first time this spring. “He is a potential guy that can hit in that slot,” Geren said. “He’s a high on-base (percentage) guy. I like high on-base guys high in the lineup.”
The starting nine: