Tuesday update from the Coliseum

We’ve had a string of nice nights for baseball at the Coliseum. Looks like this will be another one, although the wind is whipping right now during BP. …

Let’s get the news out of the way: Josh Outman did in fact have Tommy John surgery today on his left elbow. Aside from having the ulnar collateral ligament reconstructed, he also had a bone spur removed. No official timetable for his recovery, but it’s generally anywhere from 12-18 months. That makes three A’s pitchers this season lost to Tommy John surgery. Yikes … Joey Devine and Dan Giese are the others.

In cheerier news on the pitching front, Justin Duchscherer’s back problems have improved and he’s been cleared to resume throwing in Phoenix. He’ll be following the typical routine, playing long toss from progressively longer distances. If all goes as planned, the A’s have it mapped out for him to throw in a minor league game July 26. As you know, all plans are written in pencil … Starting or relieving, you ask? The A’s don’t have a set plan for Duchscherer at this point. “There are no plans in any way other than to get him healthy and on the mound,” Bob Geren said.

–Geren touched a little bit on the A’s running game today. Matt Holliday stole a base last night, and the A’s were planning a double steal w/runners on the corners but it backfired when Kurt Suzuki got picked off third. Geren said he wants to look for opportunities to steal when the right guy is on base and the situation seems favorable.

I’m all for this. One of the few bright spots of last year’s offense was the A’s efforts to steal more. The aggression seemed to be dialed back in the early going this season, and with the A’s adding Matt Holliday and Jason Giambi to the middle of the order, I could see why they didn’t want to run themselves out of innings. But the power hasn’t come, and with the offense struggling to score, they’ve really got nothing to lose. They have some players who can swipe a bag, and it’s time to turn them loose.

Anyone w/me on this?

Tonight’s lineups, featuring Nomar Garciaparra DH’ing for the A’s, but no Travis Buck:

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

Gonzalez LHP

Granderson CF
Polanco 2B
Cabrera 1B
Thames DH
Raburn LF
Inge 3B
Ordonez RF
Ryan C
Everett SS

Galarraga RHP

Joe Stiglich

  • Oakland Sí

    so…Buck called up, not starting…so that Cust can bat eighth and be in RF again?

  • You’ve got a point, Si … Bob Geren said that the emphasis is generating more offense right now, rather than opt for the defensive upgrade in right field. But the way Cust is hitting, there’s a good argument that the A’s might be a better offensive team if Buck were in there. I talked to Cust today about his hitting, and you can read about it in tomorrow’s notebook. As for Buck, Geren said he’ll probably start tomorrow w/Cust at DH. With a day game after a night game, Nomar Garciaparra probably won’t be in the lineup …

  • Bee Hylinski

    I know that Billy Beane doesn’t like stealing because statistically it leads to outs too often. But, small ball, including stealing, is probably the way to score runs for this team right now. The power in the middle of the lineup hasn’t materialized and can’t be counted on, so good old fashioned baseball seems to be the best route now. Back to basics is always a good strategy.

    As for Cust, I think he should be benched and let Travis Buck have a go at the plate. He’s got to be better than Cust at the plate, and there is no denying Travis would be better at right field than Jack.

  • Marc

    I totally agree with Bee on both the back to basic baseball point and that Travis is a much, much better fielder – I also think he is a better hitter – given the playing to time to prove it.