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Welcome to Goodyear

Just sitting here in the press box of shiny new Goodyear Ballpark, which is about 15 miles to the west of downtown Phoenix. The park, which serves as the home field for the Indians this year with the Reds joining next year, looks like it seats about 12,000 with grass seating beyond the left field and right center fences. Just immaculate.

Some news and notes this morning. The team has optioned outfielder Javier Herrera, which is that surprising considering the glut of outfielders the A’s have. Oakland has Chris Denorfia back, and A’s manager Bob Geren wants to have a look-see at Rule 5 draftee Ben Copeland. Before Thursday’s game against the Diamondbacks, Herrera had been hitting .500 (3-for-6) in seven games with two runs, two walks and three strikeouts.

The starting lineup for today:

Kurt Suzuki C, Ryan Sweeney CF, Mark Ellis DH, Jack Cust RF, Chris Denorfia LF, Bobby Crosby 3B, Sean Doolittle 1B, Jack Hannahan 2B, Gregorio Petit SS

Daric Barton’s right quadriceps is feeling better and he could pinch hit sometime this weekend, but he likely won’t start in a game at first base until the middle of next week. He said he would like to get in 45-50 at-bats to before the regular season starts. Of course, where he begins the season is up in the air.

Eric Chavez is feeling better and will start throwing this weekend, likely Saturday. The shockwave treatment he’s been receiving the last few days to break up the scar tissue in his right shoulder has been working.

A’s manager Bob Geren said Orlando Cabrera is still on track to be the DH in tomorrow’s home game against the Giants and start on Sunday against the Angels. Nomar Garciaparra is a couple of days behind Cabrera, Geren said.

It’s possible that Justin Duchscherer will start throwing off a mound this weekend or early next week as the A’s remain hopeful that he’ll be ready for the first week of the season. Fellow pitcher Henry Rodriguez is supposed to make his spring training debut today.  

- Curtis Pashelka

cpashelka