A's notebook: McCarthy's the man; quandary at third base

A's notebook: McCarthy's the man; quandary at third base
February 28, 2012, 7:58 pm
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News of Day: When the Athletics open the 2012 season in Tokyo, it'll be Brandon McCarthy on the mound."I thought it was natural based on what he accomplished last year," A's manager Bob Melvin said, in officially announcing what we've all been speculating this spring.Melvin cited McCarthy's focus, dependability and natural ability to pound the strike zone as attributes that led to his decision. And when discussing McCarthy's road to recovery, fighting through injuries throughout his career to finally 'arrive' last year, Melvin said, "credit to him.""He's transformed himself in a number of ways ... when you go through injuries, you are aware of your body. He's a smart guy."RELATED: Brandon McCarthy 2011 game logs
McCarthy is also one of the most routine guys you'll come across in the game, which is saying a lot if you know baseball players.The day after he pitches, he's already started his gameplan for his next start. And as Melvin explained, you don't approach the righty on the day of his outing: "He's focused."Melvin compared him to one of his other former pitchers, Curt Schilling (minus the bloody sock...sorry, I had to go there). It's a comparison to be proud of for the 28-year-old McCarthy.And Now There Are Two: Bartolo Colon will be in the 2-spot of the A's rotation.Melvin cited his experience and mechanics, the way they "stand out...he reads hitters really well."If his shoulder rehab continues on course, Dallas Braden will fit into that No. 3 slot come mid-April, early May.The four and five spots, and still that potential third slot, remain up for grabs.'I Don't Know' at third: The A's weren't able to escape their injury plagued ways this spring. Scott Sizemore went down with a left knee injury the first day of full squad workouts. It's now been confirmed he'll miss the entire 2012 season due to an ACL injury. He will be re-evaluated in two weeks, when the swelling goes down, and surgery will be scheduled then.RELATED: A's Sizemore done for the year with torn ACL
"I feel for him," Melvin said, "Scott put in the work for a breakout season."That means the Athletics' utility men Adam Rosales and Eric Sogard will be getting looks at third, while rotating throughout other infield positions.And it's time to hang up the catcher's gear for Josh Donaldson; he will be getting exclusive looks at the hot corner. Melvin has frequently mentioned Donaldson's athleticism over the past week, and hecomplimented his bat this spring.And movie studios, get ready... we could have another heartwarming story of the oldest rookie trying to make his dream come true as 33-year old Wes Timmons might finally get his big break."You look at his numbers and you're puzzled why he hasn't had a shot at the big league level," Melvin explained.More on the journeyman tonight on SportsNet Central.Injury Updates: Brad Peacock was shut down yesterday with back stiffness. But, as Melvin predicted, it's not a serious situation. The righty will face hitters once more, then be worked into game action.Play Ball: Speaking of game action, the A's will play an intrasquad game March 1, noon at Phoenix Municipal. It'll be an 8-pitcher, 4-inning game.