There’s a good turnout for batting practice before tonight’s Bay Bridge Series opener, so I’d expect to see a packed house by first pitch. …
–Rickey Henderson is in town to work with some of the A’s top base runners. “I think now that we really wanna run a little more, I’ll come up and see what I can do for them,” said Henderson, who has worked extensively with the A’s minor league teams since the start of last season. Henderson worked with Jemile Weeks plenty at the Double-A level and thinks a young player with Weeks’ ability provides a spark for an entire team. “I think he’s exciting,” Henderson said. “Usually you get a guy like that just coming up to the big leagues, he’s got a little fire in him. He’s a little hyper out there. It seems like the team picks something up.”
Manager Bob Melvin likes the idea of former A’s greats coming around the team more often. I’m not surprised to hear that, knowing Melvin is a big Bay Area sports fan going back to his childhood. It’s interesting to hear Melvin sound off on that topic. He also has a strong position on the Oakland Coliseum itself, saying he wants his players to embrace the venue and think of it as a true home field advantage. It certainly runs counter to the prevailing thought (inside and outside the organization) that the Coliseum is a severe handicap for the franchise.
–Updates on some wounded Athletics: Second baseman Mark Ellis is scheduled to play three rehab games for Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. He’s eligible to come off the DL on Wednesday, though Melvin still is not tipping his hand on how he’ll handle second base once that happens. One direction the A’s could go is to option struggling first baseman Daric Barton to the minors, allowing the team to keep Weeks and Ellis on the big league roster. Conor Jackson and Adam Rosales could split first base, Rosales could still serve as a utility infielder and perhaps even Ellis could back up at different infield spots, assuming the A’s wanted to keep Weeks playing every day.
Rich Harden will pitch for Sacramento on Monday in his first rehab outing. Brandon McCarthy will face hitters for the first time in batting practice Saturday. Tyson Ross threw off the mound Friday.
Here’s your lineups:
A’s: Crisp CF, Pennington SS, Matsui DH, Willingham LF, Jackson 1B, DeJesus RF, Suzuki C, Sizemore 3B, Weeks 2B; Godfrey RHP.
Giants: Torres CF, Hall 2B, Sandoval 1B, Huff DH, Ross LF, Schierholtz RF, Tejada 3B, Crawford SS, Stewart C; Lincecum RHP.