It’s unseasonably warm at the Coliseum today, pretty ideal conditions. They always say the ball flies better here on nights like this, so we’ll see if the A’s and Indians provide a high-scoring game. Speaking of the ball flying, Yoenis Cespedes put on an impressive BP display, even by his standards. One of his homers appeared to hit the concrete below the skyboxes, just left of dead center. “Zoinks!!!”, as Shaggy might have said.
–The pregame news: Graham Godfrey was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento and lefty reliever Pedro Figueroa was recalled to take his place. Two reasons for this: The A’s need some left-handed bullpen reinforcements. Jordan Norberto is unavailable tonight after being used two games in a row, Jerry Blevins threw two innings last night, and Brian Fuentes has thrown two of the past three games. Plus, newly acquired righty Rich Thompson hasn’t pitched in well over a week, and Bob Melvin said he preferred to get Thompson a bullpen session under his belt before thrusting him in a game. Thompson is officially available tonight, but if the A’s would like to stay away from him, that theoretically puts them another man down.
There’s no doubt Godfrey has struggled with his command, particularly Friday night. “I’m looking at this as an opportunity to iron some things out,” he said. “The last couple outings, things just aren’t going my way.” The question is who starts in his place Wednesday against the White Sox? “We have someone targeted,” Melvin said. “We’ll see how things go between here and there.”
Assuming the A’s promote someone from Sacramento, I’d think Jarrod Parker is a definite possibility. He’s due to pitch tonight, which would put him on three days’ rest for Wednesday. If Parker is pulled early tonight, then it’s an indication he might be the guy. Other options? Brad Peacock has a 1.42 ERA through three starts, but he’s due to pitch Monday. It seems like it’d be tough to prep him for Wednesday without radically altering his schedule. Travis Banwart threw Friday and would be on turn, but he has a 6.75 ERA. Fabio Castro has pitched well in three starts, and he could conceivably go on five days’ rest. But we know that Parker is a guy the A’s potentially had pegged for the season-opening rotation. They’ve gotta be curious to see how he does in a big league regular season game. That’s how I’m seeing it anyway …
–Coco Crisp is doing better but not starting tonight. He was scheduled for full pregame activity, however, and Melvin said he might be available off the bench …
Here’s the lineups … Eric Sogard draws another start at third base, and Melvin said he’s looking to give Sogard a string of starts in a row. It makes sense with Josh Donaldson struggling and the A’s facing a streak of right-handed starters in upcoming games.
A’s: Weeks 2B, Pennington SS, Reddick RF, Cespedes CF, Smith DH, Gomes LF, Barton 1B, Suzuki C, Sogard 3B; McCarthy RHP.
Indians: Brantley CF, Kipnis 2B, Choo RF, Santana C, Hafner DH, Duncan LF, Kotchman 1B, Hannahan 3B, Donald SS; Gomez RHP.