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Nolin’s ongoing pain has him out of rotation mix for now

The A’s will not get a look at left-handed starting pitching candidate Sean Nolin for a while.

Oakland had hoped a flat ground throwing session Saturday would indicate Nolin was ready to throw off a mound following off-season sports hernia surgery.

Manager Bob Melvin said that the throwing did not go well.

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Abad chases both the American and the Dominican dream

A's lefty Fernando Abad, Green Card in hand, has big plans for A's this season.

A’s lefty Fernando Abad, Green Card in hand, has big plans for A’s this season.

2015 figures to be a monumental year in the life of A’s reliever Fernando Abad.

Less than a month ago, the Dominican left-hander got his Green Card from the U.S. Government. In June, he’s due to get braces off his teeth, braces he’s worn for most of the last seven years.

And he’s a key member of an Oakland bullpen that helped the A’s make it to the playoffs last year, one that has hopes of doing the same in 2015.

“It’s been a big year already,’’ Abad said of getting his Green Card. It meant he had to spend almost all of the off-season in the U.S. rather than going to his native Dominican Republic, but he’s more than cool with that.

His goal for the next off-season is to get his kids, 23-month-old Fernando Jr. and 3-year-old Camilla Fernanda and their mom, Bettania, all green cards.

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Chavez’s `mid-season form’ in spring debut impresses Melvin

Jesse Chavez starts this year as he did last year, feeling he has something to prove to the A's.

Jesse Chavez starts this year as he did last year, feeling he has something to prove to the A’s.

Here’s what A’s manager Bob Melvin said about Jesse Chavez’s first session throwing off a mound in camp Friday:

“He looks in mid-season form every time I ever see him,’’ Melvin said, “whether he’s throwing bullpen, or in a game early. Impressive. He’s a very focused kid who comes here with the mindset he has something to prove. That’s always what you like to see.’’

Twelve months ago he said virtually the same thing and Chavez went out and won a job in the starting rotation after beginning the spring with 12.2 scoreless innings in the Cactus League.

Chavez will have something to prove again. Last year he got an unexpected chance to start when Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin went down with season-ending Tommy John surgeries. Chavez lost his job in the rotation after 21 starts in which he posted a 3.44 ERA as the A’s traded for veteran starter Jon Lester at the trade deadline.

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Melvin sends get-well wishes to `best manager in baseball’

Oakland A’s manager Bob Melvin said he sent get well wishes to Giants manager Bruce Bochy Thursday night after hearing that Bochy had been admitted to a Scottsdale hospital after his physical exam revealed the need for an operation that inserted two stents into his heart.

“That’s scary, and he’s talking like it’s no big deal,’’ Melvin said. “He’s the best manager in the big leagues.

“I don’t know if that gets caught in the physicals they gave 10 years ago or when I was playing.’’

Melvin said Thursday that the only quirk he’d had during a physical was when as a player he was detected as having a heart murmur. It turned out to be something of an overly vigorous heart.

“It turned out my heart was too strong,’’ he said, shaking his head.

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Clippard favored to close for A’s, but nothing is settled

Tyler Clippard remains likeliest candidate to start season as A's closer

Tyler Clippard remains likeliest candidate to start season as A’s closer

Tyler Clippard thought he’d dodged a bullet when he started talking contract with the Washington Nationals last month, so it came as a bit of a shock for him to learn he’d been traded to the A’s on Jan. 14

`I kind of thought I was out of the woods,’’ Clippard said after reporting to the A’s with the rest of the pitchers and catchers at the extensively remodeled Hohokam Stadium Thursday morning. “Our arbitration date was three days away and we were talking about contracts.’’

The surprise came in the form or Yunel Escobar. Oakland had picked up the shortstop along with Ben Zobrist four days earlier from Tampa Bay in a deal that sent John Jaso to the Rays.

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It’s time to tour the new Mesa facilities: the weight room

The countdown to the start of pitchers and catchers reporting to the A’s new spring training camp can be measured in hours now instead of days.

So we thought you might like to see what the new Hohokam Stadium looks like from the inside – from places you’d never likely see without signing a contract.

Along the way, there’s some audio narration, more proof that I should stick to the keyboard rather than the microphone. Bear with me on that.

Next up: The weight room

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It’s time to tour the new Mesa facilities: Hokokam clubhouse

The countdown to the start of pitchers and catchers reporting to the A’s new spring training camp can be measured in hours now instead of days.

So we thought you might like to see what the new Hohokam Stadium looks like from the inside – from places you’d never likely see without signing a contract.

Along the way, there’s some audio narration, more proof that I should stick to the keyboard rather than the microphone. Bear with me on that.

Before we start, though, how about a few words from those who will be working there?

“It’s first class all the way,’’ catcher Stephen Vogt said. “They’ve done a great job there.’’

Equipment manager Steve Vucinich and his staff have spent weeks figuring out what goes where. It’s just about all in place, although workmen are still putting the finishing touches on the outside of the stadium.

“It’s a huge step up,’’ Vucinich said.

First: The clubhouse.

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Pitching guru has great expectations for Zito’s return to A’s

Barry Zito's winter spent with pitching guru Ron Wolforth has resulted in an invitation to A's spring training camp.

Barry Zito’s winter spent with pitching guru Ron Wolforth has resulted in an invitation to A’s spring training camp.

Ron Wolforth won’t throw an inning in the big leagues this year, but he could have a huge impact on the A’s starting rotation.

It was Wolforth, something of a pitching guru working out of Houston, who resuscitated Scott Kazmir’s career a couple of years back. Kazmir, a 15-game winner and an All-Star last year, is the No. 2 man in the Oakland rotation behind Sonny Gray.

And Monday came the news that another Wolforth reclamation case, Barry Zito, has signed with the A’s. Zito will be on a minor league contract, but if the left-hander does as well as Wolforth seems to believe he will, the one-time Cy Young Award winner could easily fit into the A’s rotation.

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Parker loses in arbitration; Clippard only unsettled case

Jarrod Parker lost in salary arbitration Saturday and will earn $850,000 this season.

Jarrod Parker lost in salary arbitration Saturday and will earn $850,000 this season.

The A’s have just one salary arbitration case remaining in front of them after Oakland won its case with right-handed starter Jarrod Parker Saturday.

Tyler Clippard, acquired from the Washington Nationals in exchange for shortstop Yunel Escobar on Jan 14, is seeking $8.85 million while the A’s are offering $7.775 million.

Parker will earn $850,000 instead of his requested $1.7 million after having missed all of 2014 following a second Tommy John ligament replacement surgery in his right arm.

Parker, 26, is expected to be healthy enough to rejoin the A’s deep into the season as he comes back from surgery. He was 12-8 with a 3.97 ERA in 2013 and came to camp in 2014 as one of Oakland’s five starters, but he needed mid-March surgery.

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