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A’s finally get a full workout in; Ben Sheets makes exhibition debut March 5

Ah yes, this is what the sun looks like. …

Nothing but blue sky over Phoenix Muni after three straight days of rain and gloom. A’s pitchers and catchers are on the field getting their first full workout in. Ryan Sweeney, Daric Barton and Travis Buck are among the position players to recently arrive. And from the press box, I believe I see Eric Chavez on the field, but he wasn’t in the clubhouse earlier. The full squad is due to report Thursday.

Here’s what you need to know from this morning:

–The A’s have Ben Sheets lined up to start their second exhibition, March 5, against the Brewers here in Phoenix. Just so happens he’ll be making his A’s debut against his former team. That part is coincidence. The important thing is by throwing that day, it will put him on a five-day schedule leading right up to Opening Night against Seattle. Actually, he’ll have one extra day of rest squeezed in among his Cactus League starts. Bob Geren said he wants to leave a little wiggle room in case Sheets has any soreness in his elbow.

–Geren said backup catcher Landon Powell won’t be seeing time at first base this year, as seemed possible. If Eric Chavez is healthy and Daric Barton hits as they hope, there won’t be innings for another guy at first. And let’s not forget Chris Carter is knocking on the door as well. But Powell produced in what few at-bats he got last year, and this is a lineup that will need some thump from any source it can find. I’ll have some reaction from Powell in tomorrow’s notebook …

–Newly acquired outfielder Coco Crisp was getting a kick out of Dallas Braden’s array of tattoos this morning in the clubhouse. Braden was lifting his shirt and rolling up his sleeves showing all the ink he’s got. It’s interesting to see how new guys like Crisp gradually mesh into a big league clubhouse. I suppose it’s like taking on any new job. You’re in unfamiliar surroundings, and pretty soon you feel like you belong …

I’ll post an update later if we get any news on how Justin Duchscherer’s procedure went on his lower back. Is it a procedure? Is it surgery? I’m not quite sure what the best word is to describe it. It’s more fun writing about baseball, I’ll tell you that …

Joe Stiglich