By Joe Stiglich
Sunday, April 10th, 2011 at 10:22 am in 2011 regular season.
So far, so good on the weather at Target Field. It’s windy and cloudy, but no sign of rain moving in as the A’s wrap up batting practice. First pitch is 1:10 p.m. local time, and forecasts call for a 25 percent chance of rain by 3 p.m. …
Kurt Suzuki and Coco Crisp are each getting their first days off today, with Landon Powell behind the plate and Ryan Sweeney drawing a start in right field. David DeJesus shifts over to center field and is batting leadoff. Manager Bob Geren said he likes Sweeney’s strong arm in right field, and that Sweeney and DeJesus are about equal in center field defensively. DeJesus is no stranger to the leadoff spot, having made 636 starts there over his seven-plus major league seasons. He’s batted first far more times than any other spot in the lineup.
Geren raved about the drives Hideki Matsui was hitting in batting practice this morning. But the A’s need this guy to start doing it in games. He’s hitting just .160 with no homers and three RBIs. Geren wouldn’t say if Matsui would start Monday against White Sox lefty Mark Buehrle, but he did say right-handed hitters Conor Jackson and Andy LaRoche would. Don’t be surprised if one of them serves as DH tomorrow – or perhaps Josh Willingham – with Matsui sitting.
A’s: DeJesus CF, Barton 1B, Willingham LF, Matsui DH, Sweeney RF, Ellis 2B, Kouzmanoff 3B, Powell C, Pennington SS; McCarthy RHP.
Twins: Span CF, Mauer C, Morneau 1B, Thome DH, Young LF, Kubel RF, Cuddyer 2B, Valencia 3B, Casilla SS; Baker RHP.