Nomar Garciaparra makes his return to the A’s lineup tonight at DH. If the A’s could get four games a week out of him, I think they’d take that. Bob Geren said he’d be careful in how he uses Garciaparra because of his calf issues. Jarrod Washburn pitches for Seattle tonight, and the Mariners have another lefty going tomorrow afternoon in Erik Bedard. Geren said he’d be happy if the right-handed hitting Garciaparra could start strictly against lefties for the time being.
A bit of encouraging news on Justin Duchscherer: He reported his back feels much better, and he’ll resume his throwing program from where he left off a couple days ago. The next step for him will be throwing off a mound as he comes back from elbow surgery.
Interleague play is truly upon us: A’s pitchers were on the field taking early BP today. A little bunting, a few swings, even a baserunning refresher course. Geren said Josh Outman looked the best in today’s group. Fitting, as Outman was hitting regularly for the Phillies’ Double-A team when he got traded to the A’s last July. Outman said the Phillies stressed the importance of pitchers handling the bat well, and that philosophy trickled down to the minors. “At home, we bunted every day,” Outman said.
So much for my prediction that Adam Kennedy would bat second tonight. He’s back in the seventh spot after yesterday’s 4-for-4 day. Geren said he’ll consider batting the left-handed hitter No. 2 against right-handers. I still would have swapped him w/Suzuki.
Here’s the A’s full lineup:
Cabrera SS; Suzuki C; Cust RF; Holliday LF; Giambi 1B; Garciaparra DH; Kennedy 2B; Crosby 3B; Davis CF; Braden P.
Ichiro RF; Betancourt SS; Beltre 3B; Sweeney DH; Branyan 1B; Lopez 2B; Balentien LF; Johnson C; Gutierrez CF; Washburn P.