Lots of extracurricular activities at the Coliseum today, with Andrew Bailey getting his own Bobblehead Day and Brad Ziegler hosting military families as part of the A’s Salute to Armed Forces Day.
But from the baseball perspective, the focus obviously will be on Ben Sheets and whether he bounces back after two disastrous outings. Sheets worked on making some mechanical adjustments during his side work this week, according to manager Bob Geren, but Geren wouldn’t go into specifics on what that entailed.
–Just a heads-up: If you haven’t checked out the A’s page on spitter.com yet, it’s worth a look. http://sports.spitter.com/t/mlb/oakland-athletics. There’s a pretty good archive of A’s articles, and you can post your own tweets.
–Injury updates dominated Geren’s pregame media chat. Mark Ellis (strained left hamstring) has started fielding grounders, but only on balls hit right at him. He’s not moving laterally yet in his defensive work, which will be a big test for his hamstring. Ellis is throwing from 120 feet, but there’s still no timetable for him to begin a rehab assignment.
–Kurt Suzuki took about 40 swings today, and if he feels good in the morning, he’ll take regular batting practice tomorrow. But Geren said Suzuki likely will need a short rehab assignment, probably with Triple-A Sacramento. That means we probably won’t see him Tuesday for the start of a six-game road trip.
–Travis Buck’s recovery from a strained right oblique is coming along slowly, so he won’t be rejoining the outfield anytime soon.
–I haven’t posted an update on lefty Josh Outman in a while. He’s throwing a type of simulated game today, with Ellis standing in to face him (no swinging). Outman, coming back from Tommy John surgery, isn’t expected back until after the All-Star break.
A’s: Pennington SS; Barton 1B; Sweeney RF; Kouzmanoff 3B; Chavez DH; Rosales 2B; Gross CF; Powell C; Patterson LF; Sheets RHP.
Rays: Bartlett SS; Crawford LF; Zobrist RF; Longoria 3B; Pena 1B; Upton CF; Burrell DH; Jaso C; Brignac 2B; Davis RHP.