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Let the campaign begin: Geren pushes Andrew Bailey for Rookie of the Year

It’s that time of the season when end-of-the-year award discussions start coming into focus. And if you’re bummed about where the A’s sit in the AL West standings, take heart that closer Andrew Bailey is squarely in the AL Rookie of the Year talk. He got a boost today by being named the AL Rookie of the Month for August, when he had 11 scoreless outings and was perfect in seven save opportunities.

Think Bailey will be hurt by the A’s 59-74 record? The New York Times ran this story a couple of days ago that listed him as the AL favorite. You figure Bailey’s selection to the All-Star team will boost his profile in a lot of voters’ eyes. A’s manager Bob Geren gave his endorsement in today’s pregame media chat. “Hopefully the (Rookie of the Month award) will lead on to Rookie of the Year,” Geren said. “He’s had that kind of year … I see him more than anyone, so he’s got my vote.”

Actually, Geren doesn’t have a vote. Rookie of the Year (just like MVP, Cy Young and Manager of the Year) is voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America. But you get his point.

As for Bailey’s competition, Orioles outfielder Nolan Reimold will get serious consideration. White Sox third baseman Gordon Beckham and Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus are in the conversation. Their advantage is each had lots of hype before they even reached the majors, so they’ve been on the radar for some time now. But it’s hard to argue with Bailey’s credentials to this point, or his importance to his team. Right now, I’d have to give him my vote. Of course, like Geren, I’ve seen Bailey much more than anyone else.

I’ll open it up to readers: Do you think Bailey is the man for Rookie of the Year?

–Scott Hairston (left quad) is out of the lineup for a second straight day, w/Eric Patterson playing left for the A’s.

– Geren has set his rotation for the upcoming eight-game road trip that begins Tuesday. The A’s are off Monday and next Thursday, so that gives him some wiggle room to re-arrange guys.

At Chicago: Brett Tomko, Trevor Cahill

At Minnesota: Vin Mazzaro, Edgar Gonzalez, Tomko

At Texas: Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez, Cahill

Basically, he’s set it up where Tomko will pitch on regular four days’ rest; Cahill and Mazzaro will get six days’ rest, and Brett Anderson and Gio Gonzalez will get eight days rest between starts.

Tonight’s lineups in the opener of a four-game set w/Seattle:

A’s
Kennedy 3B
Davis CF
Sweeney RF
Cust DH
Suzuki C
Ellis 2B
Patterson LF
Barton 1B
Pennington SS

Tomko RHP

Mariners
Ichiro RF
Gutierrez CF
Lopez 2B
Griffey Jr. DH
Beltre 3B
Hall LF
Carp 1B
Johjima C
Wilson SS

Snell RHP

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Cust, Sweeney sit; Petit playing third

Not a lot to report on the pregame scene. It’s blue skies and sunshine at U.S. Cellular field, as the A’s try to make it three straight over the White Sox. As bad as the road trip started out in Texas, finishing out 3-1 in Chicago would be a nice rebound for the A’s as they head home for a seven-game homestand against Baltimore and Minnesota (and considering they follow up with three games at San Francisco, it’s virtually a 10-game homestand).

No Ryan Sweeney in the lineup, as we suspected. Bob Geren said the soreness in his knee has subsided, but he’ll probably get an MRI tomorrow. Jack Cust also gets a day off, with Jason Giambi at DH and Gregorio Petit playing third. I’m surprised it’s taken this long to get Petit back in the lineup …

Chicago’s lineup features blue-chip prospect Gordham Beckham at third. He took the express route to the majors after just 59 games in the minors …

A’s:
Cabrera SS
Kennedy 2B
Holliday LF
Giambi DH
Suzuki C
Crosby 1B
Cunningham RF
Davis CF
Petit 3B

Anderson P

White Sox:
Podsednik LF
Ramirez SS
Dye RF
Konerko 1B
Pierzynski C
Fields DH
Wise CF
Beckham 3B
Nix 2B

Buehrle P