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Andrew Bailey posters decorate clubhouse; Tomko’s season done

A’s closer Andrew Bailey has gotten some playful ribbing from his teammates for all of the media attention he’s received this season. I’d imagine that’s why there were several copies of the Andrew Bailey “Rookie of the Year” poster plastered around the clubhouse today. The poster was a fan giveaway Sunday. There was one greeting visitors on the door leading into the clubhouse this afternoon. Reliever Michael Wuertz also had one pinned to the wall right next to his locker. Wuertz is one of Bailey’s primary hecklers. But you also won’t find anybody happier for Bailey and his success this season than Wuertz. He was gushing about Bailey’s ability even before the rookie began closing games.

–A’s manager Bob Geren confirmed that right-hander Brett Tomko will miss the rest of the season with nerve irritation in his right arm, though Geren didn’t have full results from Tomko’s trip to a neurologist. Basically, there’s not enough time for Tomko to get his arm strength back before season’s end. So now the question is whether Tomko could be a part of the A’s 2010 pitching staff. The A’s certainly could use a veteran figure such as Tomko to complement all of their youngsters, particularly if Justin Duchscherer isn’t re-signed. “That’s something you’d look at in the winter (depending on) where we’re at,” Geren said. “I thought (Tomko) did a nice job. He’s definitely going to be a big league pitcher somewhere. If he fits in with us, great. If not, he’s definitely a quality pitcher and a quality guy.”

–Daric Barton is bothered by a minor heel injury that happened while running the bases yesterday, so Bobby Crosby starts at first base in the opener of a four-game series against Texas. Geren is hopeful Barton returns tomorrow.

Tonight’s lineups:

A’s
Kennedy 3B
Davis CF
Sweeney RF
Suzuki C
Cust DH
Ellis 2B
Hairston LF
Crosby 1B
Pennington SS

Edgar Gonzalez RHP

Rangers
Borbon DH
Andrus SS
Murphy LF
Byrd CF
Blalock 1B
Kinsler 2B
Cruz RF
Davis 3B
Teagarden C

Millwood RHP

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No results yet on Tomko

Another beautiful day at the Coliseum as the A’s look for their second straight series sweep. Not a ton of news today. Pitcher Brett Tomko has seen a neurologist but the results won’t be known for another day or two, manager Bob Geren said. The chances of Tomko pitching again this season are slim, unless he starts to feel really good this week.

Geren said there’s a good chance John Meloan, who was called up Saturday, will pitch today whenever Dana Eveland leaves the game.

The lineups:

A’s — Kennedy 3B, Davis CF, Sweeney RF, Suzuki C, Cust DH, Ellis 2B, Barton 1B, Hairston LF, Pennington SS, Eveland P.

Indians — Brantley CF, Carroll 2B, Cabrera SS, Choo RF, Peralta 3B, Hafner DH, LaPorta 1B, Crowe LF, Toregas C, Carmona P.

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Travis Buck, Henry Rodriguez, John Meloan promoted; Chris Carter unlikely to get call

With Triple-A Sacramento having been knocked from the playoffs last night, the A’s promoted outfielder Travis Buck and relievers Henry Rodriguez and John Meloan.

This is Rodriguez’s major league debut. Meloan, 25, was claimed off waivers from Pittsburgh on Sept. 2, and Bob Geren said he’ll fill a middle relief role similar to what Jeff Gray is doing right now. He’s made seven career appearances in the majors, split between the Dodgers and Indians. “He’s a control guy, not a flame thrower, but good command,” Geren said of Meloan.

One player we probably won’t see in Oakland is first baseman Chris Carter. Geren said it’s “highly doubtful” Carter or anyone else will be added to the big league roster before season’s end. Carter enjoyed as fine an offensive season as anyone in the minors, but the A’s obviously want to keep evaluating Daric Barton at first base. So Carter probably wouldn’t have gotten regular at-bats. “He’s had a great season and he’s going to be forcing his way into the picture, just not at this moment,” Geren said.

Buck, who seemingly has slipped down the totem pole in the A’s outfield picture, said he was pleasantly surprised to get word of his call-up. With Rajai Davis and Ryan Sweeney playing so well, his innings might be limited. And when he does play, I’d expect it to be in left field to spell Scott Hairston.

Rodriguez is the most intriguing newcomer. You’ll remember he impressed in 2008 spring training with his 100 mph fastball, but his big-time strikeout totals in the minors have been countered by a high number of walks too. Rodriguez, 22, was hindered in spring training with his recovery from offseason hernia surgery, and his back also has bothered him. Geren said he’ll look for low-pressure situations to ease Rodriguez into.

It’s another right-handed dominated lineup for the A’s, with Davis again in the leadoff spot. Adam Kennedy gets another day off, but Geren said he’s inclined to keep Kennedy in the top spot when he plays. Ryan Sweeney’s knees are doing better, but Matt Carson gets another start in his place.

A’s
Davis CF
Ellis 2B
Suzuki C
Nomar DH
Hairston LF
Crosby 3B
Barton 1B
Carson RF
Pennington SS

Gio Gonzalez LHP

Indians
Brantley CF
Carroll 2B
Cabrera SS
Choo RF
Peralta 3B
Hafner DH
LaPorta 1B
Shoppach C
Crowe LF

Sowers LHP

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All’s ‘right’ with A’s batting order tonight

It’s not your typical A’s lineup tonight, with eight right-handed hitters starting against Cleveland lefty David Huff. Nomar Garciaparra (DH) and Bobby Crosby (3B) each get a rare start, and Daric Barton is the lone left-handed bat.

The most intriguing name in the A’s order? Right fielder Matt Carson, called up from Triple-A to make his major league debut at age 28. Ryan Sweeney is battling soreness in his knees, according to Bob Geren. Nothing serious, but enough for the A’s to call up another outfielder, even with Sacramento still in the Triple-A playoffs (the River Cats will be eliminated if they lose tonight, so there’s a chance we could see more call-ups soon).

I remember walking into the A’s clubhouse in spring training, seeing Carson and asking, “Who is this guy?” His signing in November hardly caused a ripple, and he was just one of many anonymous faces around Papago Park when camp opened. But he really caught the A’s attention during Cactus League play, and has only helped his cause this season. Who knows if he’s got a chance to make the team next year? But if Sweeney remains banged up, Carson could see more starts.

With Adam Kennedy getting a day off, Rajai Davis moves into the leadoff spot. Geren said he could easily interchange Kennedy and Davis at the 1-2 slots, but he’s stuck w/Kennedy at leadoff because the offense has been clicking. It’ll be interesting to see if Davis gets a few more looks in the top spot. After all, he’s a pretty realistic leadoff option going into next season.

–Geren on the odds of right-hander Brett Tomko returning to the mound this season: “Probably less than 50-50, but there’s a chance.”

–Dallas Braden, out for the season with nerve damage in his left foot, is with the team today. He’s not doing much in the way of activity, and acknowledged some frustration w/an injury that ended what was a pretty encouraging season for him. He had this to say about his recovery: “There’s about a 90 percent chance of (a full recovery). It could be a month, it could be six months. I could never be the same, or I could bounce back like nothing ever happened.”

Braden and Kurt Suzuki are being honored tonight w/the Dave Stewart Community Service Award.

Tonight’s lineups:

A’s
Davis CF
Suzuki C
Hairston LF
Nomar DH
Crosby 3B
Ellis 2B
Barton 1B
Carson RF
Pennington SS

Anderson LHP

Indians
Brantley CF
Carroll 2B
Choo RF
Peralta 3B
LaPorta 1B
Shoppach DH
Marson C
Crowe LF
Romero SS

Huff LHP

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Outfielder Matt Carson promoted from Triple-A

Pretty nice story today, as the A’s promoted outfielder Matt Carson from Triple-A Sacramento. Carson is making his major league debut at age 28. He led Sacramento with 25 homers and 77 RBI, but he’s flown under the radar with some of the other higher profile players on the River Cats roster. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, the A’s transferred pitcher Vin Mazzaro to the 60-day DL, which is no surprise since they already announced he’s out for the season.

More to come in a bit …

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Brett Tomko could be out for season; Dana Eveland gets a start

Working my way back into game shape  after not covering the last road trip, and problems connecting to the Internet aren’t helping my cause. But I won’t bore you w/that. Here’s a few quick A’s items as we’re not far off from first pitch at the Coliseum …

–With Vin Mazzaro shut down for the season with shoulder tendinitis, Bob Geren said Clayton Mortensen would remain in the rotation the remainder of 2009. Mortensen makes his third start tonight since being recalled from the minors, and he’s looked pretty good in his first two outings.

–Brett Tomko, who’s experiencing a nerve problem in his elbow area, could also be out for the season, Geren said. These injuries aren’t helping the A’s efforts to carry through with a six-man rotation, are they? Lefty Dana Eveland will start in Tomko’s place Sunday, with Edgar Gonzalez taking the hill in Monday’s series opener against Texas.

Remember when Eveland was a key part of Oakland’s rotation? His name has fallen through the cracks with the emergence of other young pitchers, but he’s looking forward to his first major league start since July 6. He’s made three relief apperances since being recalled Sept. 1, allowing five hits and one run in three innings.

Tomko wasn’t in the clubhouse today, as his wife is preparing to deliver twins tomorrow. Not much more concrete detail to offer on his injury.

Here’s tonight’s lineups, featuring Landon Powell in the DH spot for the A’s. Hmmm, I’ll go out on a limb and predict he might hit a homer. Gutsy call, eh???

A’s

Kennedy 3B

Davis CF

Sweeney LF

Suzuki C

Powell DH

Cust RF

Ellis 2B

Barton 1B

Pennington SS

Mortensen RHP

 

Indians

Brantley CF

Carroll 2B

Choo RF

Peralta 3B

Hafner DH

LaPorta 1B

Valbuena SS

Marson C

Crowe LF

Masterson RHP

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Have the A’s found their shortstop in Cliff Pennington?

With the A’s having just rolled out of Minnesota, we got a look at their current shortstop in Cliff Pennington and their former one in Orlando Cabrera. This team has a decision to make in the offseason at shortstop, but I’ll say that Pennington has impressed me with what he’s done so far. That leads me to believe the A’s could be better served by spending their free agent money at other positions (third base? veteran starting pitcher?).

Do you think the A’s should move forward with Pennington as their starting shortstop in 2010? Cabrera said upon his trade to Minnesota that he would be open to re-signing with the A’s this winter. Would you like to see him back in green and gold or perhaps someone else on the free agent market?

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A little more on Michael Ynoa, other A’s prospects

If you haven’t seen it, click here for the story I did today on some of the A’s top hitting prospects. Here’s some updates on a few other players in the farm system. Some names you might be familiar with, others not so much:

RHP Michael Ynoa: The prize of the 2008 international amateur signing class has been slowed by injuries. The A’s shut Ynoa down over the summer as he had elbow soreness, and he’s recently battled tendinitis in one of his knees. But his elbow is doing better and he’s been on a throwing program for the past month, according to Keith Lieppman, the A’s director of player development. Ynoa, who turns 18 in two weeks, has been back home in the Dominican Republic, but he’ll return to Phoenix and participate in the fall instructional league, which starts in about a week. Considering his age, and the $4.25 million bonus he was signed to, the A’s will treat him carefully.

RHP Tyson Ross: There’s nothing flashy about the stats for Ross, the Cal product the A’s took in the second round in 2008. But Lieppman is enthusiastic about Ross’ development in his first full professional season. He began 2009 with Single-A Stockton and received a promotion to Double-A Midland, going a combined 10-10 with a 4.09 ERA to this point. He’s likely to start next season with Midland.

1B Sean Doolittle: Doolittle was limited to 28 games with Triple-A Sacramento because of a torn patella tendon in his left knee. But his recovery is coming along well, according to A’s GM Billy Beane, and the team is hoping to find a place for him to play winter ball. Doolittle made a nice impression with the club during spring training and should figure prominently in the future mix at first base if he rebounds from his knee injury.

OF Matt Spencer: He was one of three players the A’s received from Philadelphia in the Joe Blanton trade, along with pitcher Josh Outman and infielder Adrian Cardenas. Spencer, who hits and throws left-handed, began the year with Stockton and turned heads after his promotion to Midland, hitting .294 with nine homers and 62 RBI in 93 games with the RockHounds.

RHP Fautino De Los Santos: After the long recovery from last season’s Tommy John elbow surgery, De Los Santos threw a little bit for the A’s rookie league team this summer and will continue rounding into form during instructional league. He was acquired along with Ryan Sweeney and Gio Gonzalez from the White Sox in the Nick Swisher deal.

RHP Andrew Carignan: The reliever was deep in the organization’s thoughts when spring training began, but a right shoulder injury sabotaged his season. He didn’t require surgery, but spent the whole season rehabilitating. Carignan will begin throwing again Oct. 1 during instructional league, Lieppman said.

RHP Mickey Storey: Storey was “nowhere on the radar” when the season began, according to Lieppman, but this reliever is climbing rapidly through the system. He began the season as a closer with low Single-A Kane County but is now in Double-A. His combined season stats: A 1.22 ERA with 71 strikeouts and eight walks. Keep an eye on this guy.

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Eric Munson called up as third catcher; Braden to 60-day DL

Thought I’d throw a little news on the blog: The A’s called up catcher Eric Munson from Triple-A Sacramento today. Makes sense for them to add a third backstop now that rosters have expanded. The other benefit: This gives Bob Geren a little more freedom to use backup catcher Landon Powell as DH, knowing that he’s got an extra catching option if Kurt Suzuki were injured.

To make room for Munson on the 40-man roster, the A’s transferred left-hander Dallas Braden to the 60-day DL, which all but ends his 2009 season. Technically, Braden could be activated Sept. 30, with five games left in the season. But it’s highly unlikely the A’s would do this, even if his injured left foot felt great.

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Blog posts for upcoming A’s trip

Hey folks … just a heads-up here: For economic reasons, my paper isn’t going to staff this next A’s road trip. You’ll still get your game coverage in the Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune and San Jose Mercury News. I just won’t be posting lineups here or giving daily updates. But I will try to blog every so often during the trip, so keep checking back!

Just thought I’d make you aware of what’s up if you notice Chin Music isn’t as active as usual in the coming days. … Talk at ya