A's may not be finished making moves


A's may not be finished making moves

Phoenix, Ariz -- School's back in session. Today marked day one of pitchers and catchers reporting to the 2012 Oakland A's camp - here are a few observations from Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

PLAYER OF THE DAY: He may still be several months away from returning to the mound, but at 20-25 pounds lighter, Brett Anderson looks game-ready - and his Skip has taken notice. Bob Melvin said Anderson has "progressed beautifully" rehabbing from Tommy John surgery last summer. Melvin said with Anderson's new stature, he's even taken on a new persona, "he's more energetic, confident, vocal." And Melvin suspects Anderson will be more agile as well when he takes the mound for drills, although he isn't expected to return to game action until August.

NOTABLE: Bob Melvin told the handful of media members that were present for his 1st First 'Address' of the Spring, that there are "...some questions he had to shy away from," because he's not sure what the roster will look like, hinting that the team may still be doing some wheeling and dealing. "As we've shown this off-season, we're not afraid" to make moves, Melvin said.REWIND: A's sign Cespedes
QUOTABLE: When I asked Dallas Braden how hard it was to watch some of his friends be traded this off-season, he told me, "It's tough because you invest a lot of emotion, a lot of time with teammates. You spend more time with these guys than you do your own damn reflection sometimes." He went on to explain "as a human," losing these guys was "a tough pill to swallow," but "as a player," he's looking forward to this time with the new guys. CACTUS-LEAGUE SNAPSHOT: Want to be like Mike... Michael Taylor and Michael Choice arrived at the facility this morning, six days before their actual 'report day'. All decked out in green workout gear, the two went across the street to Papago for an impromptu workout, only to be told it was coaches only at the other facility.
LOOK AHEAD: Speaking of which,will Manny Ramirez sport the green and gold? I asked current A's players their thoughts on Ramirez joining the Oakland ranks, and the overall reaction was nothing, but positive.Michael Taylor explained to me how Manny was one of his favorite guys to watching growing up, and said guess he'll just "sit back and watch and learn something from him (if he joins to the A's) both on and off the field.""You talk about his ability first, his ability to perform...he's easily one of the hardest workers at his craft," said Dallas Braden, "When you talk about the financials of the game, it makes sense for the organization to pick him up at a low cost.""I know Manny pretty well," Jonny Gomes told me, "I worked out with him last year...one thing you can't bend is time so only time will tell what's up."

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's skid-snapping win over White Sox

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's skid-snapping win over White Sox


The A’s six-game road trip got off to a promising start Friday as they try to reverse their fortunes away from Oakland.

Jharel Cotton shined over five innings before leaving because of a blister on his right hand, and the bullpen took care of things from there to complete a 3-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

Considering the A’s came in just 9-25 on the road so far, this was the rare occurrence of them taking control early and staying in control while wearing the road grays. Now the A’s just hope the victory didn’t come with a steep price.

In addition to Cotton (5-7) leaving after a blister opened up on his right thumb, shortstop Chad Pinder left with a strained left hamstring. The severity of that injury wasn’t immediately known.

Here’s five things you need to know from the opener of this three-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field:

-- Davis hits No. 19: Khris Davis gave Cotton some early cushion with a two-run homer off Mike Pelfrey (3-6) to center field in the first. It was Davis’ team-leading 19th long ball, but just his third in 22 games this month.

-- Another solid outing for rookie: Coming off a strong 6 1/3-inning outing against the New York Yankees, Cotton again looked in control Friday before having to leave. The right-hander held the Sox to three hits over his five innings, striking out three and walking one. It’s unknown whether the blister will affect his availability for his next start, but the A’s learned with Rich Hill last season how nagging a blister can be for a starter.

-- Ninth-inning nerves: The final score didn’t indicate how tense things got for Oakland in the ninth. Closer Santiago Casilla gave up two singles to start the inning. After Avisail Garcia flied out, Todd Frazier hit a pop up behind first. Yonder Alonso couldn’t haul it in and the ball dropped, but Alonso alertly threw to second to get a force out. Then Matt Davidson sent a deep fly ball to center that Jaycob Brugman hauled in at the warning track.

--- Joyce powers up: In the fifth, Matt Joyce lit into a 3-2 pitch from Pelfrey and homered to center field to put the A’s ahead 3-0. It was the ninth homer for Joyce, who continues to provide some of the spark the A’s are looking for in the leadoff spot.

-- A double ejection: : White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and manager Rick Renteria both were ejected for arguing a fifth-inning play after Anderson hit a dribbler near home plate that surprised him by being called fair.

A's lineup: Young faces throughout as Athletics start series vs White Sox

A's lineup: Young faces throughout as Athletics start series vs White Sox

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Astros-A's coverage begins at 4 p.m. with Pregame Live on NBC Sports California and streaming right here.

The latest A's youth movement embarks on its first road trip when they visit the south side of Chicago and the White Sox. Manager Bob Melvin has issued his lineup for Game 1 of the series.

Chicago White Sox:
1. Melky Cabrera (S) LF
2. Jose Abreu (R) 1B
3. Avisail Garcia (R) RF
4. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
5. Matt Davidson (R) DH
6. Tim Anderson (R) SS
7. Yolmer Sanchez (S) 2B
8. Kevan Smith (R) C
9. Adam Engel (R) CF
RHP -- Mike Pelfrey 

Oakland A's:
1. Matt Joyce (L) LF
2. Matt Olson (L) RF
3. Jed Lowrie (S) 2B
4. Khris Davis (R) DH
5. Yonder Alonso (L) 1B
6. Ryon Healy (R) 3B
7. Chad Pinder (R) SS
8. Bruce Maxwell (L) C
9. Jaycob Brugman (L) CF
RHP -- Jharel Cotton