The A’s will fly back to Oakland tonight after wrapping up a 10-game road trip. Think back to how different things will be from the last time they took the field at the Coliseum. A new manager in the dugout … Cliff Pennington batting second … Hideki Matsui batting third (though not today). It’s been an interesting trip to say the least …
–We just took in a pretty rare sight at U.S. Cellular Field. The A’s took a full infield practice, which is common before spring training games but unusual for major league teams during the regular season. Manager Bob Melvin said he’d like to have the team take infield on days there’s no batting practice on the field. “I’ve always been a proponent of infield, especially on days you hit in the cage,” Melvin said. “I don’t want the first ball of the day that you see being the first hit ball (in a game). You work all spring long on team defense, work as a unit on team defense, every day. It’s a priority. Then you get into season and you never do it.”
–A day after saying Matsui will be his regular No. 3 hitter, Melvin is batting Matsui fourth. That’s because Josh Willingham’s left Achilles tendon is acting up again, so the regular cleanup man is out of the lineup. Melvin expects to go back to the 3-4 combo of Matsui and Willingham for Tuesday’s homestand opener against Kansas City.
–The starting rotation is being tweaked with Monday’s day off. Trevor Cahill, Josh Outman and Gio Gonzalez will pitch Tuesday-Thursday in the Royals series, which keeps Cahill and Gonzalez on their regular rest. Graham Godfrey is being skipped, but Melvin said he’ll slot in somewhere in the next series against the Giants. Guillermo Moscoso, today’s starter, would set up to pitch Friday’s Bay Bridge series opener if he stays on his regular turn.
A’s – Crisp CF, Pennington SS, Sweeney LF, Matsui DH, DeJesus RF, Barton 1B, Sizemore 3B, Powell C, Weeks 2B; Moscoso RHP.
White Sox – Pierre LF, Ramirez SS, Quentin RF, Konerko DH, Pierzynski C, Rios CF, Dunn 1B, Vizquel 2B, Teahen 3B; Humber RHP.