There are packed boxes sitting around everywhere in the A’s clubhouse – no doubt that “getaway day” is approaching. The A’s play their final Cactus League game Sunday afternoon against the Rockies, then fly back to the Bay Area that night. I’ll be doing the same, and the chilly (at least by Phoenix standards) Bay Area weather will take some getting used to.
–As for the baseball news, we may get word later in the afternoon on the A’s rotation – who the fifth starter is, and the order of guys. Manager Bob Geren did say the first four, in order, are likely to be Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez and Dallas Braden, assuming those pitchers come out of their upcoming throwing sessions feeling well. That would be three lefties in a row, but it’s not like opponents would see three identical pitchers back to back to back. Braden’s off-speed stuff sets him apart from Anderson and Gonzalez, and even Anderson and Gonzalez are slightly different. Both throw mid-90’s fastballs, but Anderson uses a sharp slider, while Gonzalez has more of a traditional curve ball.
A’s: Crisp CF, Sweeney RF, Willingham LF, Matsui DH, Kouzmanoff 3B, Jackson 1B, LaRoche 2B, Powell C, Sogard SS; McCarthy RHP
Angels: Izturis DH, Kendrick 2B, Abreu RF, Callaspo 3B, Aybar SS, Mathis C, Bourjos CF, Trumbo 1B, Pettit LF; Palmer RHP
–A couple of Hideki Matsui’s former teammates with the Yomiuri Giants – Koji Goto and Yukinaga Maeda – dropped by camp to visit. Matsui had dinner with both of them last night along with Angels pitcher Hisanori Takahashi. Goto talked admirably of Matsui’s generosity and efforts to mobilize support for Japan’s earthquake and tsunami victims. Goto also cautioned that Matsui gets off to a slow start every season. He’s hitting .125 so far this spring. “In Japan, he was the same way,” Goto said. “The monster only appears after summer comes.” Great line …
–A note on yesterday’s game: Right fielder David DeJesus made the best defensive play I’ve seen by an A’s player this spring, extending flat-out for a diving catch in right-center. Just pretty … I had heard lukewarm reviews on his range in the outfield, but he covered a lot of ground to get that ball …
–Brian Fuentes is scheduled to throw today, his second of back-to-back outings. He’s been knocked around pretty good in his last two games (5 ER in 1 1/3 IP) after he started his spring with six straight scoreless outings. Geren said he wasn’t too concerned with that since Fuentes faced Arizona in each of the last two appearances, an unfamiliar opponent. It’ll be interesting to see how he fares against the Angels, a team he’ll be seeing plenty. … Craig Breslow will also make his second appearance.