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Braden questionable for tomorrow, Giambi not activated

Your pregame update from the Coliseum, where we have pretty ideal weather for a ballgame right now. We’ll see if that’s still the case at first pitch …

Dallas Braden was limping around the clubhouse pretty good today, the result of a rash on his left ankle that’s become inflamed. According to Bob Geren, Braden has been wearing a neoprene toe guard while pitching because he’s been dragging his left foot. The rash stemmed from him wearing that.

At any rate, Braden is questionable for his start tomorrow, so the A’s will have a Plan B ready. Geren said Edgar Gonzalez is one possibility, or they could pull somebody up from Triple-A Sacramento. Jerome Williams would be on turn to pitch for the River Cats, and the A’s have room on the 40-man roster for him. But Williams is just 1-4 with a 6.60 ERA in 20 appearances (9 starts). Dana Eveland is an option, but he’d have to go on three days’ rest and he threw 101 pitches on Saturday. Shawn Chacon is out — he started today.

If Gonzalez isn’t needed in relief tonight, my money’s on him.

–Can’t say I was surprised that Jason Giambi wasn’t activated from the DL today. He wasn’t around the clubhouse before batting practice to offer his take on things, and Geren was tight-lipped as ever regarding Giambi’s situation. Geren flat-out avoids addressing Giambi’s physical condition. “There’s no change in his status. It’s the same as yesterday. We’ll go day-to-day with it,” Geren said.

What is it that’s holding Giambi back? “We’re just not ready to activate him,” Geren said. Remember, Giambi has been saying the past few days that his right quad feels OK.

It seems pretty obvious to me that the A’s want to go with Tommy Everidge and (when he’s healthy) Daric Barton at first base. But who knows? Maybe they truly aren’t convinced that Giambi is ready to go.

Anyway, here’s tonight’s lineups, featuring Rajai Davis in the leadoff spot w/Adam Kennedy getting a day off. I know some of you out there have wondered about plugging Davis into the top spot regularly. Enjoy!! At least for one day … Geren said he still likes Kennedy leading off …

A’s
Davis CF
Suzuki C
Hairston LF
Garciaparra DH
Cust RF
Everidge 1B
Crosby 3B
Ellis 2B
Pennington SS

Gonzalez LHP

Rangers
Arias 2B
Young 3B
Byrd CF
Jones DH
Blalock 1B
Hamilton RF
Murphy LF
Saltalamacchia C
Andrus SS

Holland LHP

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A’s sign pitcher Shawn Chacon; Ryan Sweeney activated

The A’s added a veteran arm to their Triple-A pitching staff, signing right-hander Shawn Chacon to a minor league deal. Assistant GM David Forst confirmed it in a text message. Chacon, 31, will pitch out of Sacramento’s rotation, but he’s also got experience as a reliever. He gives the A’s a veteran fallback option for their young major league starting staff, but I see him being more likely to help the bullpen if called upon at the big league level.

He was pitching for the independent league Newark Bears this season. He made seven starts, with opponents batting .253 against him. In 2007 with the Pirates, 60 of his 64 appearances came in relief. But he made 15 starts for Houston last season. You’ll remember he was released after getting in a physical altercation with Astros GM Ed Wade.

–As expected, the A’s have activated center fielder Ryan Sweeney from the DL and optioned outfielder Chris Denorfia to Triple-A.