0

Trevor Cahill vs. King Felix on tap for A’s opener

Greetings with the first of many regular-season blogs coming to you from the Coliseum press box. … I drove into the parking lot at about 3 p.m. today and was surprised by the number of people already tailgating. The A’s are expecting a sellout tonight, so it should be a great atmosphere. Trevor Cahill vs. Felix Hernandez – you can’t ask for a better pitching matchup …

–There wasn’t a whole lot that A’s manager Bob Geren revealed during his pregame media session. As we were asking him questions, it hit me that there’s really nothing more we can throw at him that we haven’t asked repeatedly over the past six weeks. But that changes tonight as games start counting …

Geren has talked plenty about the quality depth he sees with this year’s team, and he plans to use it. He said he’s talked individually with players about their roles, and that he plans to get his regulars some rest when possible to prevent them from wearing down. “Guys will be given time off even when they’re not tired,” Geren said. He mentioned center fielder Coco Crisp as one of those guys, and that makes sense to me. I see Crisp as a big key for this team, and if getting him occasional time off keeps him healthier, the A’s should do that. Geren mentioned that Josh Willingham could get the occasional look at DH against a tough left-handed pitcher, with Hideki Matsui resting and right-handed hitting Conor Jackson drawing a start in left field.

The lineups:

A’s: Crisp CF, Barton 1B, DeJesus RF, Willingham LF, Matsui DH, K. Suzuki C, Ellis 2B, Kouzmanoff 3B, Pennington SS; Cahill P.

Mariners: Ichiro RF, Figgins 3B, Bradley LF, Cust DH, Smoak 1B, Olivo C, Langerhans CF, Ryan SS, Wilson 2B; Hernandez RHP.

–Some A’s career numbers to note vs. King Felix – David DeJesus has hit .364 against him (8 for 22) over his career with one homer; Kurt Suzuki sits at .353 (6 for 17); On the flip side, Kevin Kouzmanoff is hitting just .158 (3 for 19) with six strikeouts. …

That’s all for now …

Joe Stiglich