Conor Jackson will play left field, could hit second; other A’s notes

We have a rain delay here at Wrigley Field. It’s not coming down hard right now, but there’s no announced start time yet.


You’re probably well aware that the A’s swung a trade today, acquiring outfielder Conor Jackson from the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor league reliever Sam Demel. Here’s a story on the trade itself. …

–Jackson is expected to arrive at Wrigley Field around game time, and manager Bob Geren said the newest Athletic will be available off the bench. “I plan on him being my left fielder,” Geren said, when asked how Jackson fits into the plans. But with no DH available for the next six games, Geren said Jack Cust will see time in left field too. Ryan Sweeney might need a day off in right at some point, so Cust could play out there also.

Interestingly, Geren compares Jackson to Daric Barton — a patient hitter who will draw walks and drive balls to the gaps. And we could see those two batting next to each other. Geren said he’s considering hitting Jackson second, moving Barton to the third spot and batting Sweeney fifth. But he noted that Jackson could hit lower depending on pitching matchups.

And what happens to Rajai Davis once center fielder Coco Crisp returns? Geren dusted off the trusty “That Will Be a Good Problem to Have” philosophy. The A’s have had so many injuries, he isn’t fretting about having too many healthy players for too few spots.

–I’d been to Wrigley Field for one game previously, but this is my first time working a game here, and I’m pretty excited for it. The press box is very high (great view of the Chicago skyline). The visitors’ clubhouse is extremely tiny and cramped, even more so than Fenway Park’s, which I didn’t think was possible. And the route that leads you from the clubhouse to the field is an absolute maze. There are a couple of hand-written signs posted along the hallways — one reads “Almost There” and another one says “You’re Finally Here.”

–Before the first game of a series on the road, A’s outfielders usually make sure to field balls off the outfield wall, just to get used to the caroms. I’d say that was especially important today with Wrigley’s ivy-covered fences …

Here’s the lineups:
A’s: Davis CF, Barton 1B, Sweeney RF, Suzuki C, Kouzmanoff 3B, Cust LF, Ellis 2B, Pennington SS, Cahill RHP.

Cubs: Theriot 2B, Castro SS, Byrd CF, Lee 1B, Colvin RF, Soriano LF, Tracy 3B, Hill C, Zambrano RHP.

Joe Stiglich