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A’s in Tempe

Not a ton of news today from the A’s camp, just a few tidbits. The A’s are in Tempe today to play the Angels, the team they’ll open the regular season with on April 6 in Anaheim. Orlando Cabrera and Nomar Garciaparra are both starting, with OC at short and Nomar at third. Matt Holliday isn’t making the trip. Here’s the lineup:

Garciaparra 3B, Cabrera SS, Sweeney CF, Cust RF, Ellis DH, Suzuki C, Doolittle 1B, Denorfia LF, Petit 2B. Anderson is starting.

Eric Chavez said he is feeling better today.  He’ll continue to do some light, routine throwing before he picks up the intensity a bit on Wednesday. His plan is also to start hitting on Wednesday or Thursday.

A’s manager Bob Geren said Garciaparra over the course of the season will see time at third, shortstop, first and DH. He’ll play third “quite a bit” even if Chavez is 100 percent healthy, Geren said.

Second baseman Mark Ellis is still on track to get on the field and play some defense towards the end of the month, although Geren doesn’t yet have a specific date.

Another thing to keep and eye on today is the performance of starting pitcher Brett Anderson. With Justin Duchscherer likely to miss at least the first five games of the season, another spot in the rotation opens up. Geren wouldn’t say if he had three starters locked in to the rotation to start the season, adding that he likes the competition. But it would be a surprise not to see Dana Eveland, Dallas Braden and Sean Gallagher start games that first week.

Of course, Anderson, Trevor Cahill and Vin Mazzaro are just three of the young arms trying to impress. Gio Gonzalez, Jerome Williams and Josh Outman are also in the mix for those last two starter spots. Williams starts on Monday against the Dodgers.

Curtis Pashelka