Today’s workout ended up having more spice to it than expected, thanks to several everyday players who showed up for batting practice — Eric Chavez, Mark Ellis, Ryan Sweeney and Daric Barton were among those taking hacks in the cage and getting some defensive work.
Chavez was the main attraction, as he always is when he reports to camp. He took throws and fielded lots of grounders at first, getting drilled in some basics by infield coach Mike Gallego. Some highlights from his media chat:
–On learning to play first: “Whatever I do, I wanna do it so well. I just have to remember, I’m just taking ground balls, just with a bigger glove. The more times I get over there, the easier it will be.”
–He’s not crazy about using a first baseman’s mitt. “I’m getting two ready in case one of them fails me.”
–Manager Bob Geren said he wants Chavez to work strictly on his hitting and first base work for the time being. Chavez doesn’t believe he’ll need much time at third to be ready if needed there. He shagged a few balls in the outfield this afternoon, but said he was just getting some running in. “I have no restrictions. They asked me what I thought I needed to do, and I just told them to minimize my throwing.”
Although his troublesome back gets the most attention, you have to remember that Chavez’s twice-operated on right shoulder is also a big issue. That’s why fewer throws is better.
–In other news, Joey Devine threw 20 pitches today, but Geren listed his chances of being ready Opening Day as “50-50”.
–An A’s spokesperson said Justin Duchscherer’s procedure went well to relieve pain in the SI joint in his lower back. He’ll return to the team tomorrow, but no word on when he’ll resume throwing. The procedure was done at the Arizona Center for Pain Relief.