The injury news just doesn’t get any better for third baseman Eric Chavez. Already on the DL for an elbow problem, he’s now headed to Phoenix to have his back checked after an MRI yesterday showed a bulging disk. Chavez recently began having back spasms, which initiated the MRI. Bob Geren said they started Sunday, but Chavez wasn’t available before the game to clarify for sure. He’ll be examined by Phoenix-based specialist Dr. Rob Blackaby. Chavez was targeting Friday for a possible return, but now Geren said his return will be pushed back “a couple of weeks for sure.” Can’t say for certain is this is related to the lower back surgery he had in October 2007. …
This development makes a healthy return from Nomar Garciaparra even more important. I saw Garciaparra taking infield practice today, and he’s also been hitting. The thought is he might be ready to come off the DL for this weekend’s series in Detroit. “He’s optimistic about returning somewhat soon,” Geren said. “He’s definitely going to be with us in Detroit, and if he’s ready, I’ll activate him.”
Let’s get away from the injury news for a second, shall we? The clubhouse emptied out earlier than usual today, as the A’s held a players’ only meeting on the field before batting practice. Not sure what the motivation was, or who called it. But it’s time somebody lights a fire under this team before they dig too big of a hole to crawl out of.
You should have seen the show Matt Holliday was putting on during BP not long ago. He crushed at least two homers to center that hit near the strip of concrete running just underneath the luxury suites. Absolute bombs. Jason Giambi put a couple in the second deck in right field. … I know, I know. This is sort of like being impressed by NBA players dunking during a shootaround, right? But it’s still quite a spectacle to watch …
Dallas Braden’s left hand is doing better, but he’s still wearing an Ace bandage and you can still see the lace marks on his swollen knuckles. He said he’ll try throwing a bullpen session tomorrow. The plan is for Braden and Brett Anderson (blister) to start Friday and Saturday, or vice versa. But at this point, they’re both a question mark. Geren mentioned Sean Gallagher and Dan Giese as candidates who could fill in if needed. Doesn’t sound like the A’s plan to call anybody up to take those starts, but as we’ve found, things change quickly with this team.
Some encouraging news: After throwing a scoreless inning for Single-A Stockton on Saturday, reliever Santiago Casilla is scheduled to make another rehab appearance tonight for Triple-A Sacramento. If that goes well, he could be activated Friday.
Your A’s lineup for tonight:
Cabrera SS; Suzuki C; Giambi 1B; Holliday LF; Cust DH; Sweeney CF; Kennedy 2B; Buck RF; Hannahan 3B; Cahill P.
For the Royals:
Crisp CF; DeJesus LF; Teahen 3B; Guillen RF; Butler 1B; Jacobs DH; Callaspo 2B; Buck C; Aviles SS; Hochevar P.