By Joe Stiglich
Saturday, April 14th, 2012 at 5:45 pm in Uncategorized.
There’s been lots of mixing and matching with the A’s daily lineups, but Bob Melvin trots out the same look tonight as in Friday’s series opener:
A’s: Weeks 2B, Crisp LF, Reddick RF, Cespedes CF, Smith DH, Suzuki C, Barton 1B, Donaldson 3B, Pennington SS; Milone LHP.
Mariners: Figgins CF, Ackley 2B, Ichiro RF, Smoak 1B, Montero C, Liddi 3B, Olivo DH, Wells LF, Ryan SS; Noesi RHP.
“I think the printing presses were on the fritz, so we had to go with the same lineup today,” Melvin joked. … I wouldn’t say the A’s knocked the cover off the ball last night, but I can understand not messing with a winning combination.
–What do we make of Jemile Weeks’ hitting so far? The leadoff man is batting .206 with just seven hits, but two of them are homers. Melvin certainly won’t argue when anyone on his team clears the fences, but I’d say this team is at its best when Weeks is getting on base more often and starting rallies so others can drive him in. Watch how his offense progresses for the rest of this road trip …
–With Jacoby Ellsbury likely to miss extended time with a partially dislocated right shoulder, the Red Sox could be in the market for center field help. Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted that Coco Crisp could be a potential target down the road. … Makes sense to me. I could see Crisp generating interest from other teams too if he’s having a productive season and the A’s fall out of contention early. But that contract – two years at $14 million through 2013 – might scare some buyers away. At any rate, Crisp is another player to watch as the season unfolds. He enters tonight’s game hitting just .200 (6 for 30) with two RBIs in eight games.
–In the “Who Woulda Thunk It?” department, former Athletic Josh Willingham is leading the American League with a .444 average (12 for 27). Not far behind him is another ex-A’s outfielder, Ryan Sweeney, hitting an even .400. Perhaps most surprising about Willingham – a strikeout machine in green and gold last season – he’s whiffed just five times in his first eight games. I don’t think many A’s fans would trade Yoenis Cespedes for Willingham as their cleanup man right now. But it will be interesting to track how Willingham does this season compared to the power numbers that the A’s produce with their current cast, given their lack of effort to re-sign Willingham last winter.
That’s all for now …