Here’s the rundown on A’s news from Fenway this morning …
With reliever Grant Balfour coming off the paternity list, infielder Andy LaRoche was designated for assignment, meaning the A’s have 10 days to trade him, release him or send him to the minors if he clears waivers. Other teams have a shot to pluck him off waivers and just assume his salary.
The move is a reflection of how much the A’s need bullpen depth right now after Saturday’s 14-inning game. Oakland has eight relievers, choosing not to ship a pitcher out to make a roster spot for Balfour. It’s also a sign that infielder Adam Rosales is very close to being activated from the DL. LaRoche even mentioned that he knows Rosales is close to returning, so even without LaRoche, the A’s shouldn’t be without an extra infielder for long. For now, manager Bob Geren said Kevin Kouzmanoff would be his choice to play shortstop if something happened to Cliff Pennington.
–Along with a fatigued bullpen, Geren has a very light bench today. Left fielder Josh Willingham is out of the lineup after injuring his left Achilles tendon on Saturday. Geren lists him as day to day, but he’d like to avoid having to use Willingham. That leaves catcher Landon Powell and Hideki Matsui as the only healthy position players on the bench. It’s no surprise that Geren said he’d be OK using Matsui for outfield duty if it came to that. Geren was asked light-heartedly if he was hoping to avoid extra innings today. “Win in nine,” he said of his preferred plan.
A’s – Crisp CF, Sweeney LF, DeJesus DH, Jackson RF, Suzuki C, Barton 1B, Ellis 2B, Kouzmanoff 3B, Pennington SS; Anderson LHP.
Red Sox – Ellsbury CF, Pedroia 2B, Gonzalez 1B, Youkilis 3B, Ortiz DH, Lowrie SS, Crawford LF, Cameron RF, Saltalamacchia C; Lackey RHP.