Back to basics for the A’s in their pregame activities

There’s generally little variation in a major league team’s pregame routine. That’s what makes this A’s homestand a bit unusual. There’s been a lot more on-field activity — early in the day, before batting practice — than normal. I walked out on the field today and the entire squad was out there. Pitchers and infielders were practicing bunt coverages; outfielders were taking fly balls. This is in preparation for the upcoming interleague games in National League parks — the A’s expect to see lots of pitchers bunting, so they’re making sure to brush up on all the fundamentals.

As for other A’s news, Rajai Davis continues making progress with his sore left hamstring. He said he ran foul pole to foul pole and felt pretty good, but he’s still day-to-day.

–With Davis out, it’s an outside-the-box A’s batting order. Mark Ellis is in the leadoff spot at DH. Adam Rosales gets a start at second base, and Jake Fox is playing left field. A’s manager Bob Geren wanted to load up on right-handed hitters against Angels lefty Joe Saunders. I can understand the logic. But after last night’s game, I’m surprised Jack Cust isn’t back out there. Cust is a streaky guy, and if that opposite-field homer last night is indeed a sign that he’s getting dialed in, why not keep him in there?

–Gabe Gross isn’t in the lineup, but Geren said Gross is available after slightly injuring his back last night.

Tonight’s lineups …
A’s: Ellis DH, Barton 1B, Suzuki C, Kouzmanoff 3B, Rosales 2B, Sweeney RF, Fox LF, Carson CF, Pennington SS; Braden LHP.

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

Joe Stiglich