By Joe Stiglich
Saturday, March 28th, 2009 at 10:35 am in Spring Training.
After getting his first start at second base Tuesday, Bobby Crosby is starting at first base for the A’s this afternoon against Milwaukee. That’s one noteworthy aspect of today’s mix-and-match lineup. The A’s want Crosby to get comfortable at every infield spot. He played one inning at first as a mid-game substitute earlier this spring, when he borrowed Jack Hannahan’s first baseman’s mitt. Bob Geren said Crosby looked very comfortable in fielding drills Friday afternoon. “We did a lot of 3-6-3 double plays, and he looked very good. I thought, ‘Wow, he looks like a shortstop playing first base.’ He was very smooth.”
Daric Barton’s sore quadriceps has tightened up on him again, and he’s been unavailable the past couple of games. Another reason Crosby is playing first today.
–The bullpen was a hot topic during Geren’s media chat, and the skipper said he still plans to have Joey Devine and Brad Ziegler share the closer’s role to start the season. “I’m going to give them a shot, and somebody possibly will emerge as closer, or we can mix and match all season.” Devine gave up a homer last night in his first game since March 4. Ziegler, who has thrown in two minor league games since returning from the World Baseball Classic, is scheduled to pitch for the A’s tomorrow against Colorado.
–Still no change on catcher Landon Powell’s status. He’s been unavailable the past several games with a strained muscle in his ribs. The A’s are bringing newly acquired Curtis Thigpen to Maryvale today to provide backup for Joel Galarraga, who starts at catcher. I’d be at least a little concerned about Powell at this point if I were the A’s, though neither Powell nor Geren is expressing much outward worry.
–Eric Chavez said Friday night he was hoping to play both Sunday and Monday to see if he could handle back-to-back games. Geren said that will be up to the training staff.
–Justin Duchscherer’s arthroscopic surgery will take place either Monday or Tuesday.