Ben Enos filling in for Joe Stiglich from the Oakland Coliseum
Just when the A’s start to get something good going, the injury bug rears its ugly head yet again. The latest casualty is uber-hot third baseman Brandon Inge, who will miss today’s game with a slight groin injury. A’s manager Bob Melvin said Inge argued to play, but with what’s gone on lately around these parts when it comes to injuries, the right move was to sit Inge.
So, even though there’ll be bodies on the A’s bench today, the actual list of available subs is pretty much non-existent. Jemile Weeks (ankle) and Kila Ka’aihue (hamstring) are both unavailable today. Kurt Suzuki (hand/thumb) sits today as well, but Melvin said that the catcher is the emergency backup today. Melvin said he would really prefer not to use his starting catcher.
In other news, we had a candid conversation with reliever Grant Balfour, who was recently demoted from the closer role after a few bad outings.
“Do I feel like it was kind of a short leash, yeah a little bit,” Balfour said. “Shoot, I had a couple bad games, I feel like I’ve pitched pretty good here for the last year and a month. There goes that. It’s kind of a bit of a bummer. I’m disappointed.”
Balfour also said: “He makes the decisions, not me. I told him I wasn’t happy about it. I was pissed off. It’s fine, whatever. He knows how I feel. I’ll just go on the field and do what I do.”
Melvin said he heard Balfour out, and said that he did tell his reliever that the possibility of regaining the job is always there. Melvin added though that if Brian Fuentes runs with the job, he won’t “make a change to make a change.”
So, that’s the news from pregame today in Oakland, where skies are beginning to clear. Should have sun by first pitch. We’ll see how the A’s fare against 2011 MVP Justin Verlander.
A’s: Pennington SS, Cowgill CF, Reddick RF, Gomes DH, Smith LF, Donaldson 3B, Barton 1B, Recker C, Sogard 2B. Parker P.
Tigers: Jackson CF, Dirks LF, Cabrera 3B, Fielder 1B, Young DH, Avila C, Boesch RF, Peralta SS, Raburn 2B. Verlander P.