Michael Wuertz throwing today, Coco Crisp returning soon, and Bob Geren’s thoughts on baserunning

Lots of talk about the NCAA Tournament inside the A’s clubhouse this morning. These guys might be professional baseball players, but when it comes to other sports, they’re fans just like all of us. Same thing happens when the NFL season kicks off in the fall.

As for the morning’s news …

–Michael Wuertz is throwing in a minor league game at 11 a.m., so it’ll be interesting to see how he comes out of that.

–Manager Bob Geren said Rajai Davis will likely be out at least three days, but it’s mainly as a precaution. His abdominal injury is mild, and since Davis has played just about every game and looked sharp, the A’s don’t see the harm in giving him a few days off to recuperate. This gives Eric Patterson some time in center field, and any action this guy sees is very important. Patterson is out of options, meaning it’ll be tough to send him to the minors without another team snatching him off waivers. So the A’s need to see what he’s got.

Patterson singled in the first inning yesterday, stole a base off Barry Zito and came around to score the A’s only run. And speaking of baserunning …

–Geren always gets jazzed to talk about aggressiveness on the base paths. He wants the A’s to be the best baserunning team in the majors. “We went from one of the worst, to middle of the pack, to being one of the best last year, and we want to be the best. (Good baserunning) never slumps.”

Rickey Henderson is back with the team for the next week or so to help in that area.

–Coco Crisp, nursing a sore hamstring, will be back in action in a few days, Geren said. That could either be at DH or center field. The most important thing: His right shoulder is coming along well and Crisp is throwing at about 180 feet. He had surgery on both shoulders last summer.

–Reliever Justin Souza was optioned to the minors this morning. He’s a hard thrower with good movement on his pitches. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see this guy in Oakland at some point this season.

–And one last note: Jason Jennings will start Saturday’s split-squad game in Goodyear against Cleveland. It’s a nice audition to see what he can do. Ben Sheets will pitch in Phoenix against the Cubs that day.

Whew, that’s all for now. There’s a stadium worker dusting off the seats in front of me, and he’s singing along to “House of the Rising Sun.” I like the enthusiasm, but he won’t be winning many “American Idol” votes.

I’ll leave you w/that ….

Joe Stiglich