With the always-troublesome opening series behind them, the A's look to get back on track tonight in their first game of the year against an AL West opponent, the Seattle Mariners. The pitching matchup is Jesse Chavez for Oakland and Roenis Elias, a Cuban rookie who has never pitched at a level higher than Double-A, for Seattle. In five Cactus League appearances, two of which were starts, Elias posted an impressive 2.04 ERA, racking up eight strikeouts and eight walks. Chavez was originally slated to start yesterday in the series finale with Cleveland, but he and Tommy Milone were pushed back one day each after Tuesday's rainout.
The Mariners are undefeated, coming off a three-game sweep of the Angels in Anaheim. Their offense was unstoppable in that series, putting up a combined 26 runs — it'll be up to Chavez, officially a part of Oakland's starting rotation for the first time, to put a stop to Robinson Cano and company.
The A's are going with a righty-heavy lineup against Elias, a southpaw, but with a pair of exceptions in the outfield: Josh Reddick and Sam Fuld. When Craig Gentry, who bats right-handed, comes back from the disabled list, Melvin will be able to make fewer platoon exceptions. For now, though, Yoenis Cespedes gets a night off from playing defense, and Alberto Callaspo will make his debut at first base.