No Coco Crisp (or Michael Taylor) in A’s lineup

Here’s the lineups as the A’s go for a sweep of Seattle …

A’s: Weeks 2B, Pennington SS, Matsui LF, Willingham DH, DeJesus RF, Allen 1B, Sweeney CF, Suzuki C, Sizemore 3B; Cahill RHP.

Mariners: Ichiro RF, Gutierrez CF, Ackley 2B, Carp DH, Smoak 1B, Olivo C, Seager 3B, Wells LF, Rodriguez SS; Beavan RHP.

You’ll notice no Michael Taylor in the lineup for the A’s. Manager Bob Melvin mentioned Friday that Taylor would start in right field today, but said this morning he had a change of heart. “I put my foot in my mouth on that one,” Melvin said with a smile. “I’ll ease him in against left-handers. He’ll get to play some. I jumped the gun on that one. There’s a chance he could get in there (Monday). He’s not here to sit, that’s for sure.” Melvin added that it’s not a situation where the right-handed hitting Taylor will play ONLY against lefties.

It’s going to be interesting to see how Melvin handles Taylor’s playing time through the end of the season. In my book, if you bring a guy like that up in early September, he should be playing regularly. This guy is a big-time prospect, and the A’s need to find out what they have in him. But there’s logic to choosing the spots for a young guy, playing him when you think he’s got the best chance to succeed and build his confidence. Then again, the A’s know what they have in David DeJesus at this point. They’re less certain about Taylor, which is why I think he needs to play – often.

–Coco Crisp, who fouled a ball off his foot Saturday, is out of the lineup as expected. Melvin said Crisp is doing a little better but that the team is being cautious with him.

–A couple interesting stats from yesterday: Brandon McCarthy became the first A’s pitcher to throw a shutout with double-digit strikeouts since Barry Zito struck out 11 in blanking Cleveland on Aug. 20, 2001, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

And this from A’s stats guru David Feldman: McCarthy is just the fourth pitcher in Oakland history to throw back-to-back complete games with 10 or more strikeouts. He’s the first to do it since Vida Blue in 1971.


Weeks works on his sliding; McCarthy and Harden might get more rest

It’s a good day for baseball at the Coliseum as the A’s try to make it two in a row over Seattle …

Here’s the lineups:

A’s — Weeks 2B, Crisp CF, Matsui DH, Willingham LF, DeJesus RF, Allen 1B, Pennington SS, Suzuki C, Sizemore 3B; McCarthy RHP.

Mariners — Ichiro RF, Gutierrez CF, Ackley 2B, Carp DH, Smoak 1B, Wells LF, Seager 3B, Bard C, Ryan SS; Pineda RHP.

–A’s manager Bob Melvin, base running coach Tye Waller and special assistant Phil Garner were on the field this morning working with Jemile Weeks on his sliding technique. Over-sliding the bag on stolen-base attempts has been a problem with Weeks since he’s been in the majors. It’s sort of amusing to watch, but the A’s are treating it seriously, as is Weeks. He’s been called out three times on bases he had swiped, only to pop off the bag and get tagged.

–Melvin said it’s possible that Brandon McCarthy and Rich Harden, starting pitchers who have had their share of past injuries, could get extra time off in the final few weeks, with an occasional spot starter being wedged in to give those two a break. The A’s just want to be smart with them.

–That’s all for now …


Taylor starting in right field for A’s

An A’s-Mariners series in September wouldn’t seem to rate much excitement, but there’s some buzz at the Coliseum tonight with the major league debut of A’s outfielder Michael Taylor. He was called up today and will start in right field. Taylor has been talked about so much since he was acquired from Toronto before the 2010 season, and now A’s fans finally get to see him in a major league game that counts.

He held court with reporters before the game and, not surprisingly, handled himself very well. He’s one of the more polished A’s players, young or old, when it comes to handling the media. He found out about his promotion after last night’s game with Triple-A Sacramento. “I didn’t know what to do,” Taylor, 25 said. “I had this stupid, glazed smile on my face. I had it walking in today. I can’t get rid of it.”

Taylor comes with lots of hype attached. He’s listed at 6-foot-5, 256 pounds and is considered a multi-tool talent. But he didn’t exactly blaze his way to the big leagues, taking almost two full seasons in Triple-A before getting his first call-up. The knock on him is that he doesn’t generate enough power for his size. He does have 16 homers this season, and that’s up from six last season. There’s no getting around it – Taylor is a direct link to the Matt Holliday trade. The A’s dealt Holliday to get a package that included Brett Wallace, and Wallace was in turn traded for Taylor. So Taylor’s career path dictates how successful that whole chain of events was regarding Holliday and his tenure in an Oakland uniform.

–In other news, the A’s called up reliever Andrew Carignan (making his major league debut) and infielder Adam Rosales, who could spot Brandon Allen occasionally at first base. Reliever Michael Wuertz was also activated from the DL.

Tonight’s lineups:

A’s: Weeks 2B, Crisp CF, Matsui DH, Willingham LF, Sizemore 3B, Allen 1B, Pennington SS, Suzuki C, Taylor RF; Moscoso RHP.

Mariners: Ichiro RF, Gutierrez CF, Ackley 2B, Carp 1B, Smoak DH, Olivo C, Seager 3B, Wells LF, Ryan SS; Vargas LHP.


Michael Taylor makes his debut with A’s

Outfielder Michael Taylor was among three players the A’s called up from the minors before Friday’s series opener against Seattle.

It marks the big league debutfor Taylor, 25, a much talked-about prospect since the A’s acquired him from Toronto for infielder Brett Wallace before the 2010 season. Taylor hit .272 with 16 homers and 64 RBIs in 93 games for Triple-A Sacramento.

Infielder Adam Rosales and reliever Andrew Carignan also were called up. To clear a 40-man roster spot for Carignan, making his major league debut, first baseman Daric Barton was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

The A’s also reinstated reliever Michael Wuertz from the 15-day DL.


Aftermath of the Conor Jackson trade

Here’s a quick take on the Conor Jackson trade …

It was no shocker to see him dealt. The emergence of Brandon Allen had pushed Jackson into a minor role. But the bigger impact is the playing time this might open up for September call-ups. There’s one less player now vying for playing time at first base/outfield. As I’ve written before, the rest of this season should be about evaluating young players who might be part of the future moving forward. Not just Allen and Jemile Weeks, but also a guy like Michael Taylor. I realize Taylor hasn’t destroyed Triple-A pitching, but I’m surprised he hasn’t gotten a look yet with the big club. There’s a better opportunity to get him up here with Jackson out of the picture. Chris Carter? It’s going to be trickier to find him playing time in the majors given how impressive Allen has been at first. Carter could get DH at-bats, but if the A’s are entertaining any thoughts of re-signing Hideki Matsui (I’ve gotten no indication one way or another), they probably wouldn’t want to take the veteran out of the lineup.

Bottom line, it’s still unclear whether Taylor, 25, and Carter, 24, are factors for this team in 2012, and that’s a problem. At this point, you need to give these guys extended playing time in the big leagues or assume they’re not part of the plans moving forward.

–One last thought on the Jackson trade. It’s tough to see him go from a beat writer’s standpoint. He was definitely one of the team’s best quotes, a guy who would give an intelligent take on whatever question you threw at him. The Red Sox press corps is in for a pleasant surprise …