Garciaparra starts at DH; Cust hitting seventh

Considering the rut the A’s find themselves in, it’s not surprising Bob Geren held a team meeting on the field before batting practice this afternoon. One message was the need to play better defense after the A’s committed five errors over the past two games. “I just wanted to make sure we separate offense and defense,” Geren said. “If you’re struggling offensively, separate the two sides.” But Geren also wants his players to just relax and have a little more fun. Perhaps that’s why we saw Jason Giambi taking some ground balls at third base (using his first baseman’s mitt, of course!)

Today’s lineup also has a different look to it. Nomar Garciaparra draws his first start since coming off the DL. He’s the DH and batting cleanup, with Jack Cust dropping down to seventh in the order. The A’s have been very cautious in easing Garciaparra back into action. I assume tonight could be a test run. If Garciaparra doesn’t respond well to a full night of activity, he could head back to the DL to open a roster spot for Mark Ellis, who will be activated tomorrow. Geren said he didn’t know when Garciaparra might be ready to play defense, but he wants his bat in the lineup, particularly against lefties. We still don’t know how Garciaparra’s calf will respond when he really has to exert himself on the bases, but Geren added: “He’s moving well. He looks great taking ground balls. It’s just a matter of volume, how much he does. If he’s on base four times tonight, he might not be able to go tomorrow.”

As for dropping Cust in the order? “The last few games he’s not seeing the ball as well as he normally does,” Geren said.

–Adam Kennedy was breaking in his new first baseman’s mitt before the game, in anticipating of seeing time at first when Ellis comes off the DL. Kennedy reiterated he’s ready to play wherever needed. As for Ellis, he said his minor league rehab stint has him ready to roll, and he’s excited to return to second base tomorrow.

And finally, your lineups:

Kennedy 2B
Suzuki C
Holliday LF
Garciaparra DH
Giambi 1B
Cabrera SS
Cust RF
Crosby 3B
Davis CF

Cahill P

Smith LF
Barmes 2B
Helton 1B
Hawpe RF
Tulowitzki SS
Stewart 3B
Atkins DH
Gonzalez CF
Phillips C

De La Rosa P

Joe Stiglich

  • Joe:

    Jack Cust in Right Field is costing too many games
    and causing the young pitchers to lose site of their
    target. Poor…I said Poor Defense and lack of clear
    communication to his temmates is resulting in the brand
    of baeball that the A’s are providing. This results in
    more defeats and fewer sales at the gate. I enjoy your

    Take care,

    Ed Kerr

  • The days of billy ball are over. The A’s composed of a cast of decling vets and triple a players are now the worst team in baseball. No offense, poor defense and a at best a minor league manager will struggle to win 65 games this year. it’s a sad day for A’s fans to watch this team colapse to worst in baseball.

    There is no leader on this team to jump start a second half comeback.

    Time to tune this team out.

  • Bee Hylinski

    I hear ya, Wes. The team does need a leader and Bob Geren isn’t it. I think Billy Beane should can him, at the end of the season, if not now. I think if it were to happen now, it might galvanize the team to go out and win. They aren’t inspired to win now.

    Yes they’ve had and will have a rough schedule against division leaders in June and July, but they at least have to win one game in each series. They had their chances in the Colorado series. The Rockies just wanted to win more.