To all of you who are making the trip down to Arizona--have fun, good luck with player sightings/autographs, and remember that those of us back home despise you thoroughly. I know most of the eyes will be on our big-ticket players, but I'm here to remind those attending Spring Training to take a look at some of the little guys, too. It's not often we get to see non-roster minor leaguers on the same field as our stars (unless you make a habit of attending rehab starts), so take some time and give some of them a good look.
Specifically, these are our NRIs this spring.
I'd also like to encourage those of us who are able to travel to AZ to report back home to us with observations, pictures, thoughts, and stories. You guys are our AN reporters while the team is in Arizona. (Press badges are in a box around the corner.) In particular, I'd love to hear back on some things that I've been wondering about a handful of our non-roster or non-25-man players.
- How's Fautino de los Santos? After Tommy John surgery two years ago, he's had trouble getting back on the mound. Is he finally ready to go? And, more importantly, do his pitches still snap as well as they did when we acquired him from the White Sox in the Nick Swisher trade?
- Can Chris Carter and Michael Taylor show off their near-limitless potential? Will they be ready for a possible late-season callup?
- How will Max Stassi perform against this competition? After getting drafted last June as a highly-regarded high school catcher, he got a very small touch at short-season Vancouver. He's a week from turning 19. Will Stassi's young bat impress his older teammates? How about his defense behind the plate?
- Why is Corey Wimberly marked as an outfielder on the A's official website? Is it a typo, or are they trying something new? Has Bud Selig approved our petition for making a stirruped-backflip count as an automatic home run?
- We've also invited a Matthew Whitney (3B/1B) to camp. It looks like he was a first round draft pick in 2002 by the Indians. Will he flash the tools that led him to get picked so highly?
- Dallas McPherson's been the relatively forgotten member of our three-pronged (or ten) 3B monster. With Kouzmanoff, Fox, and Chavez on the 40-man roster already, how will McPherson distinguish himself from the crowd?
Feel free to add to this list with any questions of your own. We've got a veritable fleet of ANers traveling down to Spring Training that should be able to give fantastic insights about most every question posed here.