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Matt Carson a late scratch with back spasms, other A’s thoughts

I’m not sure there’s an official stat kept for last-minute scratches and lineup changes, but the A’s have to be among the major league leaders. Matt Carson was supposed to start in right field tonight but came down with lower back spasms. Jeremy Hermida takes his place. I saw Carson in the clubhouse and he was walking hunched over and in obvious discomfort. …

I asked Bob Geren before the game about Vin Mazzaro and where he fits into the mix for next year’s rotation. He didn’t expand much on Mazzaro specifically, but mentioned him as a starting candidate along with several others. Four of the five spots seem set with Brett Anderson, Dallas Braden, Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez, so that leaves Mazzaro battling it out with Josh Outman, Tyson Ross, Clayton Mortensen and whoever else the A’s bring to camp. We all know that offense is the obvious area for improvement for the 2011 Athletics, but the competiton for that fifth starter’s spot will be worth keeping tabs on.

Geren also was asked about Rajai Davis and the season he’s had. It’s going to be interesting to see how much the A’s emphasize the running game next year if they do bring in a power hitter or two. The way I see it, Coco Crisp, Davis and Cliff Pennington could all be back in next year’s lineup, meaning one-third of Oakland’s batting order (at least) could consist of speedy, base-stealing types. The A’s were so successful running this year (and in 2009) that it’s tough picturing them not doing it again in 2011. But the main reason they’ve been so aggressive on the bases is because they’re so woeful in the power department. If they import some power over the winter, they’re going to have to strike a balance between pushing the envelope with the running game, and dialing it down and letting their big bats do some damage. Their personnel will help determine that. …

Tonight’s lineups:
A’s — Davis CF, Barton 1B, Ellis 2B, Cust DH, Suzuki C, Kouzmanoff 3B, Carter LF, Hermida RF, Pennington SS; Cahill RHP.

Mariners — Ichiro RF, Figgins 2B, Gutierrez DH, Smoak 1B, Langerhans LF, Bard C, Saunders CF, Mangini 3B, Wilson SS; French LHP.

Joe Stiglich

  • crister

    Daric Barton… Mr. September… nobody crushes watered down, first time call ups and career 4A pitching in meaningless games like he does. Can’t hate the man though for padding his stats. God knows for a starting first baseman, he really needs it.