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Update from PHX: March 12/Recap: Royals @ A’s Game 17

March 12, 2013
  • A’s were 6-3 winners over the Cactus League leading Kansas City Royals (13-2-1) today. That improved their Cactus League record to an even 8-8.
  • Grant Balfour begins throwing to hitters today. He will not yet see in game action. Regardless, his recovery speed has been nothing short of exceptional. Glad to see the A’s will not be without their star closer for long.
  • Fernando Rodriguez sees the doctor today to get an MRI on his elbow. Never like to see MRI and elbow in the same sentence when talking about a pitcher but realistically, Rodriguez to me does not seem to be a key piece in the bullpen so this isn’t of grave concern as far as I am concerned from an on-field standpoint.
  • Yoenis Cespedes has all his family members in America following a dramatic escape from Cuba via Turks and Caicos. Reporters have said his spirits are really high. Perhaps this additional load off can help him more focus while playing. Not bad start for a man with a lot on his mind, could we see an even better Cespedes this year?
  • A’s lineup today against Kansas City: Coco Crisp CF, Scott Sizemore 2B, Jed Lowrie SS, Yoenis Cespedes LF, Brandon Moss DH, Chris Young RF, Daric Barton 1B, Derek Norris C, Eric Sogard 3B. Tommy Milone got the start with Jerry Blevins, Pat Neshek, Ryan Cook, Jordan Norberto, Chris Resop and Evan Scribner seeing action. Milone did not look good today with Alex Gordon hitting a moonshot off of him to start the game.
  • The A’s bats did well, Moss being the big bat with a 2-for-3 day, including driving in the game tying runs. Andy Parrino drove in two insurance runs bringing his total to eight runs driven in. All the infielders seem to be having a pretty good camp with the exception of two guys projected to be starters: Scott Sizemore and Hiroyuki Nakajima as CBSSports’ Danny Knobler reported today, “A’s people say Japanese free-agent Nakajima has been so unimpressive at shortstop that they now describe the position as ‘open.’ But they say Sizemore has been equally unimpressive at second base…There’s still time for Nakajima and/or Sizemore to change how things will be figured out. But more than most teams, the A’s are influenced by spring training performance.” I found that interesting if not just for the comment at the end, that the A’s are influenced by spring training performance more than other teams. I wonder why that is the case and how it has manifested itself. Last spring Moss had a great camp but did not break with the MLB club.
  • There was an interesting comment on the MLB story about this game, talking about Bob Melvin and how often guys have seen playing time. If one based starters on spring training plate appearances received and innings pitched, here is your starting lineup: Norris and John Jaso C (tied), Moss 1B, Lowrie 2B, Nakajima SS, Josh Donaldson 3B, Michael Choice, Shane Peterson and Young OF with the starting five looking like Milone, Bartolo Colon, Dan Straily, Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin. Clearly some issues with the accounting (DH is ignored, Lowrie has played in multiple places) but still sort of interesting.
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