It’s been a hard off-season for A’s fans—with the flurry of trades and the continued uncertainty over their future home—yet with the home opener just three days away, those troubles have taken a back seat to the intense feelings of excitement and optimism that accompany the beginning of every new baseball season. The A’s aren’t exactly expected to be contenders this year, but that doesn’t make me and others any less grateful to have baseball back.
With the home opener against the Seattle Mariners a mere three days away, I figured I’d do a quick round-up of A’s related news from the past few days:
- First off some injury news. It was first reported on March 31st that Dallas Braden had experienced a setback in his comeback from shoulder-capsule surgery and sustained a strained shoulder. Braden flew to New York today to see Dr. David Altchek, the doctor who performed his surgery last May, where he received an injection. The plan is to have him rest for three weeks. The good news is that no structural damage was found. He had been on track to rejoin the rotation sometime in May as had been planned, but now the timetable for his return is up in the air. Fellow pitcher Joey Devine has been shut down due to soreness in his elbow, and the team will know more within the next day or so. He had Tommy John surgery on the elbow in 2009, and is extremely effective when healthy, so let’s hope that this isn’t anything serious. Early this morning it was reported that Cliff Pennington left last night’s game against the Giants were a strained groin in the second inning. If he can’t go for the home opener, Eric Sogard, who smacked a two-run homer last night, will get the start. If you watched the game and were wondering where Manny Ramirez was, he sustained a back injury last week and won’t play in the series. Finally, Susan Slusser tweeted around 2 p.m. that Daric Barton was placed on the disabled list. Not too much of a surprise there considering he hasn’t played much this spring, but I was wrong in thinking that he would be healthy enough to be the starting first baseman by the time the home opener rolled around. I saw on my Facebook feed earlier he homered for the River Cats in a game against the Stockton Ports at Banner Island Ballpark.
- Adam Rosales was sent down to Sacramento Monday, so it looks as though Sogard was nailed down the infield utility job for the time being. Because the A’s were allowed to take 28 players to Japan, they need to trim two more before the home opener. With Barton on the DL, the A’s may end up dropping an outfielder and pitcher, as opposed to getting rid of one of their three first basemen, as was speculated earlier this week.
- Pitcher Graham Godfrey tossed five scoreless innings against the Giants last night, winning one of the last two available spots in the starting rotation. The A’s, however, ending up losing the game 4-2, with their only runs coming on a two-run homer by Sogard. Interestingly enough, tonight was the second game of the annual Bay Bridge Series preseason showdown, and being a season ticket holder I had a ticket for tonight’s game. I don’t usually bother with preseason sports, so I didn’t bring my ticket with me when I left home in the morning. Because I take BART to get to school, I always pass the Coliseum on my way to and from SJSU. I passed the stadium at around seven, and it was a foreign feeling to see that a game was going to be played and I wasn’t stopping to be a part of it. I’m saving my energy for Friday. (The A’s JUST lost 3-2.)
- It’s been a quiet past few days in the A’s battle with the Giants over the territorial rights to Santa Clara County, but both BaseballDigest.com and the New York Times both posted two informative articles that provide a good overview of the history and origins of the squabble, so check them out for a good read.