By Joe Stiglich
Saturday, April 9th, 2011 at 3:58 pm in 2011 regular season.
ESPN reported earlier today that the A’s and right-hander Trevor Cahill are close to a multi-year contract extension. The team has not confirmed anything, and an A’s spokesperson said no announcements would be made tonight. But it’s known that the A’s have been having discussions with Cahill’s agent for a while now, and if they were looking to lock up another starting pitcher after signing Brett Anderson last season, Cahill is the logical choice based on what he’s accomplished to this point. If there are any more updates, I’ll post again …
A heavy storm is supposed to hit Minneapolis in the middle of the night, but we should be able to get today’s game in, which begins at 6:10 local time. Tomorrow’s series finale? We’ll see … Game time is 1:10 p.m., and weather.com calls for a 50 percent chance of rain in the middle of the afternoon.
A’s: Crisp CF, Barton 1B, DeJesus RF, Willingham LF, Matsui DH, Suzuki C, Ellis 2B, Kouzmanoff 3B, Pennington SS; Gonzalez LHP.
Twins: Span CF, Mauer C, Morneau 1B, Young LF, Cuddyer RF, Kubel DH, Valencia 3B, Hughes 2B, Casilla SS; Blackburn RHP.
–Same lineup as last night for Oakland, as manager Bob Geren isn’t pushing the panic button on his team’s offensive woes. “They’re swinging at pitches they should swing at, not taking balls they should hit and not expanding (their strike zone) too much,” Geren said before the game. Then he pointed out that the A’s have hit only two home runs in seven games (no one besides Josh Willingham has gone deep). “You certainly can’t tell your hitters to start hitting home runs — that’s not an effective strategy,” Geren said. “But we’ll take them.”
Without any improvement in power so far this season, I’d say the A’s need to use the running game a little more. They’ve stolen five bases in seven games, and putting runners in motion more frequently could open things up. Just something to watch for. …
Would you like to see the A’s get more aggressive on the bases, or is patience required until the middle-of-the-lineup hitters start heating up?