Mark Ellis day-to-day with hamstring strain, Eric Chavez sits again, and other A’s pregame notes

Just lost another entire blog entry as I tried to post. One of these days I’ll learn to save as I’m writing. Rather than chuck my laptop out a window, which is my preference, I’ll try to knock this baby out again. …

We have a funky 3:40 p.m. start time for the A’s-Mariners game, since it’s Seattle’s home opener. Death Cab for Cutie, a band that made it big out of Seattle, was just on the field performing John Fogerty’s “Centerfield.” They did it pretty good justice, too …

On to the A’s news …

–Mark Ellis is out with a strained left hamstring, suffered yesterday as he legged out an infield grounder. He’s hopeful of only missing a couple of days. Adam Rosales draws a second straight start at second base.

–Eric Chavez sits for the second straight day with Jake Fox serving as DH, though manager Bob Geren said Chavez could pinch-hit. Counting today, Chavez has started just five of the A’s eight games so far. Geren said he wanted to give Chavez a couple days off as the A’s faced a lefty yesterday (Joe Saunders) and get another one today (Ryan Rowland-Smith). But I’m surprised Chavez already has sat as much as he has. Perhaps it’s a smart effort to keep him fresh and injury-free. But this guy hardly has played over the past three seasons, and the only way for him to find a groove is to get regular at-bats.

Chavez looked pretty good at the plate Saturday, and Geren said Chavez is doing well health-wise. “His bat speed looks good.” Asked if Chavez is only his regular DH against right-handers, Geren didn’t give a concrete answer. But he added that if the A’s face a string of lefties in a row, Chavez will get playing time against them.

–Gabe Gross gets his first start in left field over Travis Buck. “We’re seven games into the season,” Geren said. “I wnat enough guys to get some playing time. He’s a good defensive outfielder and (Safeco Field) is a big outfield to cover.” It will be interesting to see how the left-handed hitting Gross fares against Rowland-Smith, because Gross hasn’t played a whole lot against lefties over his career. But I can see him getting more playing time, as Buck is hitting just .190.

A’s lineup:
Davis CF
Barton 1B
Sweeney RF
Kouzmanoff 3B
Suzuki C
Rosales 2B
Fox DH
Gross LF
Pennington SS

Duchscherer RHP

Ichiro RF
Figgins 2B
Gutierrez CF
Lopez 3B
Griffey Jr. DH
Bradley LF
Kotchman 1B
Johnson C
Wilson SS

Rowland-Smith LHP

Joe Stiglich