By John Hickey
Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013 at 11:26 pm in 2013 regular season.
In pre-game workouts, the A’s had two disabled infielders, Adam Rosales and Hiro Nakajima, working out with the team.
Rosales, who has a rib cage injury, isn’t likely to be back soon, but Melvin said that Nakajima was closer and could head out with the team when Oakland flies to Houston Thursday.
That would depend on how Nakajima, dealing with a left hamstring strain, did in workouts this week. And things seemed to go astray when Nakajima walked off the field after only about 10 minutes or so while the rest of his teammates were early into their workout.
Asked about it after the game, however, manager Bob Melvin said that things seemed to be fine with his Japanese shortstop.
“I haven’t heard anything that would make me think otherwise,’’ Melvin said.
IN LOVE WITH THE MOUND
Chris Resop pitched an inning in relief Monday, and he found himself working off an unsullied mound.
The only two pitchers who’d been in the game before the right-handed A’s reliever were Brett Anderson, the left-handed A’s starter, and Seattle ace Felix Hernandez. And, Resop said, neither started or landed where Resop likes to start and land during his windup and delivery, leaving the ground pristine, relatively speaking.
“I told Brett this was the best mound ever,’’ Resop said. “He didn’t mark it up at all, and Felix, well Felix is something else. He has a stride of about eight feet. I was watching him, and there are times in his delivery when both feet are off the ground. And you wonder why he never leaves the ball up. But he gets the ball down at the knees almost every single time.’’
Resop was good at getting the ball down himself Monday. Pitching the eighth inning, he faced four batters, struck out two and gave up only an infield hit.
“It was good to pitch the opener,’’ Resop said. “I still feel a lot like a little kid out there. There’s a lot of joy in competing.’’
YOUNG FINALLY GETS THE CALL
Chris Young will be in the A’s starting lineup Wednesday, which is a good thing, because the former All-Star isn’t used to sitting this much.
Young, picked up from Arizona as Oakland looked to increase its roster depth, didn’t get off the bench in Game 1 and wasn’t in the starting lineup for Game 2 against Seattle, either.
Asked about it in the A’s clubhouse, Young just shook his shoulders in a “what are you going to do?’’ pose.
“It’s unusual, that’s for sure,’’ said Young, who averaged 156 games a season in 2010-11 before injuries struck him down last year with Arizona.
Young is right-handed, and with the A’s facing back-to-back right-handed starters from the A’s in Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, left-hander Seth Smith got the call.
The question for the A’s is just how much it’s going to happen this year. Manager Bob Melvin and general manager Billy Beane both have been upfront in saying there will be plenty of at-bats for everybody. Two days into the season is an extremely small sample size, to be sure, but it raises the question of how many at-bats will be enough.
Melvin, in particular, never raised the specter of a platoon for Smith and Young, and the manager would undoubtedly like to stay away from a platoon system if he could. The reality is, however, that in Yoenis Cespedes, Coco Crisp and Josh Reddick, the A’s have outfielders who don’t want to come out of the lineup ever.
Playing time is not a problem now, but it could be one unless Melvin plays the most astute of juggling acts.
The manager has shown himself adept at that in the past. He went through 130 different lineups last season while 50 different players graced the Oakland roster. On Tuesday, however, he admitted opening the season with the same lineup on consecutive games was a little bit of a walk on the weird side.
“My pen was shaking,’’ Melvin said of the duplication. “We’re going with one lineup against right-handers. Tomorrow with a left-hander (Joe Saunders) going, there will be significant differences.’’
It’s likely that the four position players who have yet to grace a starting lineup – Young, catcher Derek Norris, second baseman Scott Sizemore and first baseman Nate Freiman all could be in the Wednesday lineup against Saunders.