A's lineup: Is Norris team's starting catcher?

July 6, 2012, 9:10 pm
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PROGRAMMING NOTE: A's Pregame Live begins at 6:30 on CSN California, followed by A's-Mariners at 7:05, and A's Postgame Live immedately after the final out.

Oakland Athletics (41-42)
Coco Crisp, CF
Jemile Weeks, 2B
Josh Reddick, RF
Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Seth Smith, DH
Brandon Moss, 1B
Derek Norris, C
Brandon Inge, 3B
Cliff Pennington, SS
Instant AnalysisDerek Norris is getting another start at catcher over Kurt Suzuki. It looks like Norris is getting the larger portion of the starts in this new A's catcher timeshare. He has a hit in seven of nine games played and Bob Melvin was impressed with the game he called for Jarrod Parker Monday night.
Yoenis Cespedes remains in left field. The only way to get him comfortable out there is to keep getting him reps. He will have to get used to seeing how the ball comes off the bat from that vantage point. On Wednesday he broke in on a ball that eventually sailed over his head for a double. Top of the orderCoco Crisp has been on fire since taking over the leadoff spot in the lineup. The speedy veteran is hitting .289 with a .362 on-base percentage, and 12 runs while batting first. Crisp has played 22 games at the top of the order and the A's are 14-8 in those contests. Since June 13, Crisp is walking in 11.6 of his plate appearances, which is up from 6.8 prior to 613. Heart of the orderCespedes is proving to be more dangerous at home than on the road. That is impressive considering the Oakland Coliseum is a tough place to hit. In Oakland he has six homers, and goes deep every 14.7 at-bats. On the road he only has three home runs, averaging 33.7 at-bats per homer. At the Coliseum 23.1 percent of the fly balls he hits end up leaving the yard. Friday night will be Brandon Moss' 25th game with the A's. He has clubbed 10 home runs since joining the team. That is the second best start to an A's career since Dave Kingman hit 11 in his first 24 games in 1984.Bottom of the orderBrandon Inge is batting eighth for the A's. He has played 10 games while batting in the eighth slot. In those games he is hitting .185 with two doubles and three RBI. Most of his appearances this season have come in the fifth or sixth spot. Norris is crushing fastballs. Both of his home runs and eight of his 10 hits this season have come against fastballs. It may be a matter of time before pitchers start to attack him differently.

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