Here’s a brief look at what happened down on the farm for the A’s affiliates Monday:
Gio Gonzalez didn’t allow any runs or hits in his first start of the season, but the left-hander’s three-inning stint in the River Cats’ 4-1 win over Portland (Padres) Monday also included some wildness. Gonzalez, who was limited to three innings due to reaching his pitch count, walked three and threw just 19 of his 38 pitches for strikes.
Not that there’s any positives for the A’s in having Eric Chavez and Mark Ellis hurt, but with two infield starters out, it’s giving the young guys some playing time. Today’s lineup has Adrian Cardenas starting at second and Cliff Pennington at short (not to mention Sean Doolittle at first base). Cardenas, a middle infielder who came over from Philadelphia in the Joe Blanton trade, is a guy I was curious to see coming into the spring. The A’s are big on him as a hitter. He played primarily second base with the Phillies, but the A’s had him play shortstop in the Arizona Fall League. I would assume he’ll get time at both positions in exhibitions. Bob Geren said a scout described Cardenas as an Ellis-type: Not flashy but he’ll make all the plays he’s supposed to.
I’ve written a bit about Corey Wimberly, the speedy second baseman obtained from Colorado for Matt Murton. Wimberly got a look at shortstop yesterday. He made a nice play, diving to stop a ball up the middle, and throwing behind a runner at third to nail him. With his speed, Wimberly seems like a natural leadoff candidate. But he’s 25 and hasn’t advanced past Double-A, so he’s not what you’d call a young prospect.
When it comes to the A’s infield, I get the feeling a lot of you are wondering if there’s a stud shortstop coming up. One thing I can say: If the A’s don’t sign Orlando Cabrera, there’s no one in the system that’s going to unseat Bobby Crosby this season.
Today’s lineup against Cleveland: