****It’s a picturesque day at the Coliseum, where the A’s just finished taking infield before the series finale against the Royals.
–The big news of the morning: Hideki Matsui will get some outfield time – in right field – during the upcoming interleague series against the Mets and Phillies, when no DH will be available in National League parks. It’s no big shock that Matsui will dust off his glove – he’s been hitting better and A’s manager Bob Melvin wants to keep his bat in the lineup as much as possible. But everyone assumed Matsui would play left field, where he’s seen most of his defensive innings in the major leagues. According to baseball-reference.com, Matsui has played just seven games in right field in the bigs, with his last start there coming in April 2008. But you figure Melvin probably doesn’t want to uproot Josh Willingham, his cleanup hitter who’s played left field all season. At any rate, Matsui has been getting outfield work during batting practice. Melvin talked to Matsui about his plan for him during interleague play, and he said Matsui is on board. “His routine is as a DH, and if it was just (one) three-game series, I might keep him like that,” Melvin said. “But I’m open to give him (an outfield) start in each series.” The A’s play a three-game road set against the Mets starting Tuesday, followed by three against the Phillies in Philadelphia.
–Are you wondering where Adam Rosales fits in the third base mix right now? Scott Sizemore has been the regular guy there, and Rosales said Melvin has told him he views Rosales more in a utility role right now. Melvin did say that Rosales would start at third Saturday against Giants lefty Jonathan Sanchez, and he realizes Rosales is the odd man out and wants to find playing time for him whenever possible.
A’s – Crisp CF, Pennington SS, Matsui DH, Willingham LF, Jackson RF, Sizemore 3B, Suzuki C, Barton 1B, Weeks 2B; Gonzalez LHP.
Royals – Maier LF, Cabrera CF, Francoeur RF, Butler DH, Betemit 1B, Moustakas 3B, Pena C, Getz 2B, Escobar SS; Francis LHP.