The morning happenings as the A’s prepare to play the Dodgers today at Camelback Ranch, their second game at the Glendale ballpark in the past six days:
–Backup catcher Landon Powell is recovering from a strained intercostal muscle (located in the ribs), enough to where he’ll make today’s trip to catch bullpens. He’s also hitting off a tee. With the regular season starting a week from today, the A’s need to figure out if Powell will be ready for the active roster or if he needs to go on the DL. Recently acquired Curtis Thigpen is starting today at catcher, and he’ll be the likely backup should Powell not be ready for Opening Night. “Any time you have a player not healthy a week before the season, it’s a concern,” Bob Geren said of Powell. “But it’s been eight days now, and that injury usually is a week- to 10-day type thing.”
–Center fielder Ryan Sweeney isn’t playing today because of a tight left quad, but he’s doing all other baseball activity and could be back in the lineup tomorrow.
–Gio Gonzalez is testing his sore left shoulder in a minor league game today. If all goes well, Geren said he would probably pitch in a game with the big league club later in the week.
–Nomar Garciaparra gets his first start at first base today. With Eric Chavez coming along well at third, it makes sense to get Garciaparra some time over at first. If Chavez plays regularly, Garciaparra’s main role will be spelling Chavez at third and Jason Giambi at first (along with some DH time). Garciaparra told me this morning he doesn’t think he’ll need much time at first to be ready for the regular season. He’s been doing pre-game work all over the diamond.
Brett Anderson pitching …
I’ll try to throw a couple in-game updates on here, so check back a little later …