Last of the starters to get a spring game, A’s Parker is playing it differently this time around

PHOENIX – The A’s Jarrod Parker gets his first start of the spring Friday against San Francisco.

For Parker, who will be the last of Oakland’s six potential starting pitchers to get in a game, the start can’t come soon enough.

“I’m ready to go, really ready,’’ he said Thursday morning. “I’m anxious to get out on the mound again.’’

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A’s give Chris Young another day off

Sorry about the taeness of the blog post. We’ve had issues, too technical to get into, but technical enough that I couldn’t post until now. – -John

Here’s what you should have gotten 3 hours ago:

PHOENIX – Chris Young, who is supposed to be in the A’s outfield today against the Padres, won’t be.

Young, who came out of Sunday’s game against the Angels with a slight cramp in his right quad, is being given one more day of rest by manager Bob Melvin. Well, he’s not going to play in the game, anyway.

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A’s Anderson on track for opening day start

PHOENIX – The A’s almost had a bit of news this morning.

They posted the first starts for three expected members of the starting rotation, including Brett Anderson, who pitches against the Cubs in Mesa Thursday after A.J. Griffin faces the Diamondbacks today in Scottsdale and Dan Straily throws Wednesday at home against the Padres.

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Giambi back for one more run with Indians

The sun is mostly still shining on Jason Giambi

PHOENIX – The call didn’t come until February, but when it did come with an invitation to the Cleveland Indians’ spring training camp, it was right on time.

Longtime A’s first baseman Jason Giambi, who just turned 42, said yes when Cleveland called and is likely to be the part-time designated hitter and full-time mentor to the young corps of Indians hitters. He’s just fine with that.

“I’ll be out here until they tear the uniform off me,’’ Giambi said in the visitors’ dugout before Cleveland paid a Cactus League call on the Oakland A’s Monday.

“It’s a good opportunity to get some playing time, and they want me to mentor the young kids, which is something I’d been doing in Colorado anyway. And I love to play ball.’’

Giambi has known Cleveland manager Terry Francona since Francona was managing the Chicago White Sox Double-A Birmingham team on which one Michael Jordan was the star attraction in the mid-1990s. Giambi played for Huntsville at the same time.

“It started then and we really became friends when he was managing Boston and I was with the Yankees,’’ Giambi said. “Nothing’s guaranteed, but it would be great to play for him.’’

Giambi, who has 1,405 career RBIs and 429 homers, needs to have a decent spring to make the team, but Francona has said the opening is there if Giambi grabs it.

Down the line, Giambi is open to coaching or managing when he’s done playing.



Rehabbing Balfour trying for quick return to closer’s job

PHOENIX – A’s closer Grant Balfour, who is doing extensive rehab work in an effort to come back quickly from a mid-February knee surgery, needs to have somebody keep an eye on him.

At least that’s the opinion of A’s manager Bob Melvin, who said Balfour is coming along quickly but wants to pick up the pace. He had some meniscus removed from his right knee, an operation that should leave him ready to go.

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Young feeling fine, should return to A’s outfield Wednesday

PHOENIX – Outfielder Chris Young reported to the A’s spring training camp at Phoenix Municipal Stadium Monday with no evident ill effects from the quad cramp he suffered while making a diving catch in the first inning against the Angels Sunday.

“It’s good,’’ Young said. “It was a little sore yesterday when I came out, but I worked with the trainers and it feels fine.’’

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Sizemore’s return to A’s could be compelling story

PHOENIX – One of the most interesting stories of the spring will start up today when the A’s give Scott Sizemore his first start of the season at second base.

Sizemore hasn’t played in the field since the final weeks of the 2011 season thanks to an ACL injury suffered in the first day of spring training camp last year.

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