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Open Thread: Game 12 - A's vs. Angels

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We told you all not to hold your breath for Eric Chavez's eagerly awaited return to 3rd base that was always tentatively scheduled for today...The Chronicle's Susan Slusser reports that Chavez will in fact NOT appear at 3rd today and will instead rest at least a few more days after "tweaking" something in his surgically repaired shoulder while batting yesterday. When the words "tweak" and "Chavez" appear in the same sentence, it's usually never a good thing, and while he's "felt great" all along this spring, this (along with Duke's lingering health issues) are frustrating bullet points to say the least, coming as they are as the team looks to field a competitive team for the coming season.

There is at least an entertaining by-product of Chavez's latest postponement and that is that new super-utility man Bobby Crosby will make his debut at 3rd in Chavvy's stead this afternoon. There is plenty of (mostly empty) speculation that Crosby could be moved to the Yankees if he looks capable at 3rd as part of a band-aid solution to the "A-Rod Out 9 weeks" problem. But with the brittle nature of the A's infield, I would just like to see Crosby stay on the team and be able to fill in where needed...which will still likely allow him plenty of playing time over the course of the year.

While the Angels are dealing with their own health woes (mainly, to the recently-extended A's Assassin Ervin Santana) they are still probably in a better position at this point due to the relative stability in their starting rotation. Today, the Halos bring one of the pillars of that stability in the form of Joe Saunders, who, while getting lucky in the BABIP department last season en-route to an All Star appearance, is still a solid pitcher in his own right. He'll be facing fellow southpaw and darling of the A's media establishment Dallas Braden.

Michael Ynoa arrived in Phoenix today, threw about 25 fastballs and changeups for some media onlookers and conducted an interview in English afterwards. Ohhhh, and the first cuts have been made to the A's roster: Jeff Gray was reassigned to Triple-A Sacramento, while Brett Hunter, Jared Lansford, Arnold Leon, Tyson Ross, Josh Donaldson, Tagg Bozied, Adrian Cardenas, Chris Carter, Yung-Chi Chen and Jemile Weeks were reassigned to minor-league camp. No real surprises there.

A's

Davis - CF

Cunningham - LF

Ellis - DH

Giambi - 1B

Powell - C

Crosby - 3B

Carson - RF

Petit - SS

Wimberly - 2B

Angels

Figgins - DH

Aybar - SS

Mathis - C

Morales - 1B

Quinlan - LF

Wood - 3B

Rodriguez - 2B

Evans - RF

Pettit - CF