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Geren’s morning update

Following up after Bob Geren conducted his media chat:

To clarify Gio Gonzalez’s upcoming schedule: Gio had told me he thought he might pitch w/the A’s on Tuesday. Geren says Gonzalez will pitch in a minor league game, which makes sense considering how much time he’s missed with a shoulder injury. And Geren emphasized Gonzalez is still under consideration for the major league roster as a long reliever. “He wouldn’t be built up pitch-count wise to start the season as a starter.”

Geren mentioned earlier this week that he might want two long relievers simply because his starting pitchers will be so young and unproven. So there’s a chance the A’s could keep two in the bullpen from a group that includes Gio Gonzalez, Josh Outman and Edgar Gonzalez. But again, Gio Gonzalez has to show he’s healthy and effective, and he’s got a short time to do it.

Other tidbits:

–Justin Duchscherer’s arthroscopic elbow surgery will be Tuesday.

–Eric Chavez will get two at-bats in his start today at third, and Geren plans to start him again tomorrow and give him three at-bats. If Chavez’s right shoulder is able to handle back-to-back games, that would be a major indication he could be ready for Opening Day.

–Backup catcher Landon Powell (strained rib muscle) is feeling recovered enough that he’ll start catching pitchers in the bullpen and swinging the bat (not hitting, just swinging).

–First baseman Daric Barton is available to get a couple of at-bats today after being out since Tuesday with the strained right quad that’s bothered him much of camp.

–You never know who’ll drop by camp: Former A’s skipper Art Howe is here this morning. He stopped by equipment manager Steve Vucinich’s office and then found Jason Giambi behind the batting cage and gave him a hug …

Joe Stiglich