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A’s send nine players down; Coco Crisp likely to return Monday

The A’s sent a whopping nine players down to the minors today, though none were big surprises — pitchers Lenny DiNardo, Fernando Hernandez and Marcus McBeth; catcher Josh Donaldson; infielders Adrian Cardenas, Gregorio Petit and Eric Sogard and outfielders Corey Brown and Matt Carson.

That leaves 39 players in camp. Several more will be sent down before the A’s leave Phoenix a week from Wednesday. But some “bubble” guys will accompany the team north so they can provide depth for the Bay Bridge Series vs. the Giants. Final cuts probably will come April 3, two days before the season opener.

DiNardo said he’ll go to Triple-A Sacramento and work on his mechanics, as well as a sidearm delivery he’s experimenting with against left-handed hitters. Cardenas will continue working at third base to see if he can establish himself there. That’s still a position where the A’s need depth.

Just a couple other updates:

Michael Wuertz makes his exhibition debut today against Cincinnati, and Justin Duchscherer is scheduled to pitch 3-4 innings of relief vs. Seattle tomorrow. That will provide a good read on Duchscherer’s chances of being ready for the season-opening rotation.

Expect outfielder Coco Crisp to return tomorrow as well, either at DH or center field.

Here’s your full lineup vs. the Reds:

Patterson CF
Ellis 2B
Suzuki C
Kouzmanoff 3B
Chavez 1B
Sweeney RF
Cust DH
Buck LF
Rosales SS

Braden P

Joe Stiglich