A’s pregame update — Monday

We’re less than an hour from first pitch here in Tampa Bay (St. Petersburg to be precise) … It’s a pretty heavy-activity day for Nomar Garciaparra. He’s run the bases and taken grounders, and he’s about to hit. If today goes well with his right calf injury, I’d think he’s a decent bet to be activated Wednesday, as A’s manager Bob Geren is hoping. ….

Gio Gonzalez was scheduled to land in Tampa at about 4 p.m., but hadn’t made it to the park by the time we talked with Geren. He’ll be used in the same long relief role that Dan Giese was filling before going on the DL. Gonzalez walked 11 batters combined in two outings at Triple-A since he was last optioned, so it’ll be interesting to see how he responds up here when he gets in a game. I think the A’s just like the fact that he has some big league experience, and he’s pitched decently in relief up here. So he got the call.

Considering how he struggled for Sacramento, though, I wonder if his last outing with the A’s stuck w/him a bit. Remember, he was optioned out after pitching five innings in relief and giving up a three-run lead in that 15-inning loss May 3 at Seattle. Can’t blame him too much for that game. Five innings of relief is a lot to ask of anybody…

Today’s A’s lineup: Cabrera SS; Suzuki C; Cust DH; Holliday LF; Giambi 1B; Kennedy 2B; Sweeney CF; Crosby 3B; Buck RF; Gallagher P.

Rays lineup: Upton CF; Crawford LF; Longoria 3B; Pena 1B; Zobrist RF; Aybar DH; Bartlett SS; Iwamura 2B; Hernandez C; Niemann P.

Joe Stiglich

  • pboss

    This team just looks worse every day and the moves become more confusing. Why bring up Cunningham and not play him? the guy just missed a month on the DL, got in a quick grove in AAA, then comes and sits the bench in the minors.

    Remember when this team would let their players produce and gain some success in the minors before rushing them up?

    Very frustrating …

  • Andrew Rosenblum

    Hey Joe,

    I’m glad you brought up that 5 innings of relief that Gonzalez had right before he was sent back last time. I can’t help but feel like that was a real turning point in the season. The A’s had just taken an extra-inning 3-run lead, with Gonzalez having battled through 4 tough innings. Of course it’s easy to Monday-morning quarterback, but still — why did Geren leave his most consistent reliever Michael Wuertz in the pen as soon as Gonzalez started to struggle in his fifth inning?! I know Geren was concerned that Wuertz had pitched two days prior — but come on, that game was there for the taking, and Wuertz’s job as the de facto stopper while Ziegler is hurt is to get tough outs with the game on the line.

    And then there’s the strategic value of the game — not only does it give you a tough victory over a division rival, it boosts the fragile confidence of your rookie Gonzalez. Instead, Geren left Gonzalez hung out to dry, to face Ichiro, one of the toughest outs on the planet, with the tying run in scoring position. Guess how that turned out?

    Including that loss, the team has lost 9 of its last 13.

  • Marc

    Hey guys,

    This team is clearly not ready to play. I’ve played ball, I’ve managed little league, and I’m a life long A’s fan. This team is a train wreck. The manager has the accountability to get the team ready to play, clearly not the case. Billy needs to fire Geren. You cannot blame poor fundamentals on injuries and bad luck. The A’s are not even ready to compete during most games. Geren just needs to go.