Urban: Can Sandoval Shake Rust for DH Duty?


Urban: Can Sandoval Shake Rust for DH Duty?

Oct. 29, 2010

ARLINGTON,Tx. -- So much is made of how many days off a guys working on duringbaseballs playoffs that it only seems right to inform you.When Pablo Sandoval steps into the batters box Saturday night in Game3 of the 2010 World Series, hell be on eight days of rest.Oh, pipe down. I know the days-of-rest thing is typically reserved for pitchers.But why? Is eight days off from facing big-league pitching not just assignificant for a guy about to make his World Series debut as it wouldbe for a pitcher with eight days off from facing big-league hitters inthe same situation?Of course it is. And while weve gone halfway there, lets finish thejourney: Jonathan Sanchez, making his World Series debut as the Giantsstarting pitcher in Game 2, will be working on six days of rest. Thats childs play compared to what the Pandas going to do.Oh, pipe down. Of course Im exaggerating my stance for effect. Sue me.But it is worth considering now that the announcement has been madethat Sandoval, 3-for-14 in five playoff games, will indeed be the DH.Who are we to question Bruce Bochy? Hes pulled all the right leversall fall, coming up triple-cherries every time. Dont just take my wordfor it. Senior Sweaters work day Friday included a veritable Valentine to the Man With the Massive Melon.And who cares if Pablos a little rusty? Hes been getting his cage and tee work in, right? Besides, the Rangers are throwing a right-hander, Colby Lewis, onSaturday. Sandoval is far more dangerous from the left side of theplate. Makes a ton of sense.But consider this: There was talk for a while that perhaps Aubrey Huffwould be the DH, with Travis Ishikawa taking over at first base.Sandoval batted .286 against righties this year. Ishikawa? Also .286 against righties. And Ishikawas presence on the field would have further strengthenedthe defense against a Rangers team now jacked at the notion of gettingback their beloved DH.After all, Ishikawa isnt rusty at all. Hes been in damn near every playoff game. Two days rest.That would have made some sense, too.

Lynch 'soaking up the system', easing into Raiders OTA practices


Lynch 'soaking up the system', easing into Raiders OTA practices

ALAMEDA – Marshawn Lynch didn’t bring his helmet to Tuesday’s OTA practice. Didn’t need it then, or on Monday.

Not for a cameo appearance during individual drills. The veteran running back wasn’t available during team sessions, and spent most of the two-hour practice working in the team’s performance center.

Lynch skipping full-speed work isn’t cause for alarm. First of all, it’s May. Second, Lynch is in great shape but still ramping back up after a season away from NFL football. It would make sense to ease him back in during the spring.

Head coach Jack Del Rio didn’t say when Lynch’s activity would increase, but wasn’t concerned one bit about Lynch’s limited OTA participation – he routinely skipped them while playing in Seattle -- and praised the Oakland native’s level of involvement in the Raiders offseason program since a new contract was worked out and his rights were acquired from Seattle on April 26.

“He’s coming along. He’s doing great. There are no issues there,” Del Rio said. “He has been here like he said he would. He has really been committed. He said, ‘Coach, this is home for me. It’s not like I’m going home and I won’t be here. He is committed to being here and is excited to be a Raider. We’re excited to have him.”

Lynch was on the practice field for some team periods analyzing plays with offensive teammates, and was working out with them after the session. Del Rio didn’t delve into when Lynch’s on-field activity would increase, but there’s no reason to rush a veteran player who ultimately must be ready come September.

“He’s doing great,” Del Rio said. “He’ll continue to do the things we’re asking him to do. He is really soaking up the system, and has done a great job fitting in.”

That’s clear. He gets on well with left tackle Donald Penn and kicker Sebastian Janikowski, and gravitates toward fellow former Seahawks like edge rusher Bruce Irvin and defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. General manager Reggie McKenzie said last week Lynch was already entrenched in the Raiders locker-room culture, which was evident in how teammates talked about him.

“Getting Marshawn has been great,” Penn said. “He brings a lot of energy here and a lot of momentum. It feels good having him here. We joke around a lot, having fun. You all probably don’t know Marshawn, but he’s a pretty funny guy. He’s really cool, and it’s good having him around here.”

A's lineup: Alonso returns for opener against Marlins

A's lineup: Alonso returns for opener against Marlins

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Marlins-A's coverage begins at 6pm with Pregame Live on NBC Sports California and streaming right here.

After missing four games, Yonder Alonso is back in the lineup as the A's begin a series against the Marlins Tuesday night.

Miami Marlins:
1. Dee Gordon (L) 2B
2. Giancarlo Stanton (R) RF
3. Christian Yelich (L) CF
4. Marcell Ozuna (R) DH
5. Justin Bour (L) 1B
6. J.T. Realmuto (R) C
7. Derek Dietrich (L) 3B
8. J.T. Riddle (L) SS
9. Ichiro Suzuki (L) LF
Jose Urena -- RHP

Oakland A's:
1. Rajai Davis (R) CF
2. Mark Canha (R) RF
3. Jed Lowrie (S) 2B
4. Khris Davis (R) LF
5. Yonder Alonso (L) 1B
6. Ryon Healy (R) DH
7. Stephen Vogt (L) C
8. Trevor Plouffe (R) 3B
9. Adam Rosales (R) SS
Jesse Hahn -- RHP