Justin Duchscherer confirmed for Saturday’s start; other A’s tidbits

We’re less than an hour from first pitch at Angel Stadium. I wasn’t sure what kind of media turnout to expect for Dallas Braden’s follow-up start to Sunday’s perfect game. There’s the usual large contingent of Japanese media covering Hideki Matsui, but I don’t see many extra writers here otherwise. And it wasn’t any more crowded in the A’s clubhouse today. …

As expected, Justin Duchscherer will indeed come off the DL tomorrow and start against the Angels. He said his hip feels fine and he’s ready to go. It’ll be interesting to see how sharp Duchscherer is. He’ll have had a 15-day layoff since he last pitched. That’s not terribly long, but he’s also diving back into it without any rehab starts. The A’s will have to make a roster move to make room for him, and it seems very likely a reliever will be demoted from that nine-man bullpen.

Ryan Sweeney is sitting for a second straight game. He’s still sick, but he also had large ice packs strapped to each knee before the game. Sweeney’s knees occasionally give him trouble, so the time off may benefit him from that standpoint. Manager Bob Geren said Sweeney is available if needed tonight, however.

Kurt Suzuki will play tonight for Triple-A Sacramento, and if all goes well, he’ll play again Saturday. If Suzuki can catch back-to-back games, I’d expect to see him activated very soon after that. The A’s miss this guy (as if that’s not stating the obvious!) … And speaking of reinforcements Oakland could use, Coco Crisp will play an extended spring game in Phoenix on Monday, then begin a rehab assignment with Single-A Stockton on Tuesday. Mark Ellis is likely to join Stockton that day as well.

I walked into the stadium today, and the Angels were engaged in a full-on infield workout, just like spring training. They were running through bunt coverages, and Mike Scioscia was giving in-depth instruction and all. You’ll hear of big league teams occasionally doing this during the season, but it’s still an interesting sight to me …

Your lineups:

A’s: Pennington SS, Rosales 2B, Barton 1B, Kouzmanoff 3B, Fox LF, Powell C, Donaldson DH, Gross RF, Davis CF; Braden LHP.

Angels: Aybar SS, Kendrick 2B, Abreu RF, Hunter CF, Morales 1B, Matsui DH, Rivera LF, Napoli C, Wood 3B; Saunders LHP.

Joe Stiglich