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Duchscherer, Ellis updates

Providing injury updates can get pretty old (I’d imagine they’re not much fun for you to read after a while either). But this morning brought substantial news on some key A’s players. Justin Duchscherer threw a 25-pitch bullpen session, his first time throwing off a mound in about three weeks. We haven’t had a chance to chat w/him yet, but manager Bob Geren said Duchscherer felt good afterward. I saw Duchscherer snap off several of the slow, arching curves that he likes to use, so his elbow must be feeling decent to throw that many breaking balls. Geren said Duchscherer probably would throw another bullpen session before taking the next step, which could be throwing batting practice or appearing in a minor league game. So what does this mean for Duchscherer’s chances of avoiding the DL when the season starts? Tough to say. Maybe he’ll have more light to shed on things later.

–Another positive development for the A’s: Mark Ellis is set to play second base in a minor league game Saturday, which will be his first defensive action of the spring. He’ll play about three innings, Geren said, and probably hit leadoff to cram in all the at-bats he can. If that goes well, he’ll play in another minor league game Monday and play second for the A’s on Wednesday against the White Sox in Glendale. Ellis has been saying he feels right on schedule to be ready Opening Day, and it’s looking that way.

Orlando Cabrera is still sick, so Bobby Crosby returns to the familiar territory of shortstop for today’s game vs. the Indians in Goodyear: The lineup:

Davis CF
Cust RF
Garciaparra 3B
Giambi DH
Powell C
Barton 1B
Crosby SS
Cunningham LF
Pennington 2B

Brett Anderson on the hill …

Joe Stiglich