With a 4-run bottom of the 8th, the A's tied a game they once trailed 6-1 thanks in large part to a Troy Tulowitzki 3-run HR off a tiring Brett Anderson in the 5th. Anderson struck out 7 in his 5 innings, but also surrendered 8 hits and 6ER. And 6-6 is how the game ended -- what was this, an All Star Game? Jake Fox provided the first offensive highlight for the A's with a solo HR to open the day's scoring; after singling in the 8th, Fox now has 5 hits this spring in 41 ABs -- 3 of them HRs.
Meanwhile, responding to the potentially bad news that Michael Wuertz has a sore shoulder -- he'll have an MRI tomorrow -- the A's have reportedly signed Chad Gaudin. So the April 5th bullpen is now looking like it might be Bailey, Ziegler, Breslow, Blevins, Gaudin, plus two more -- probably from the trio of Jason Jennings, Edwar Ramirez, and Brad Kilby.
All eyes right now are on those final roster spots, and when he joined the radio broadcast today David Forst gave some insights as to how the A's might be thinking...
* Forst said the A's are "very comfortable" with a 7-man bullpen. Translation: There will be 7 relievers, and 4 position players, on the 25-man roster.
* Forst said Fox's defensive versatility was an important factor, and also confirmed that "being out of options" was among the chief considerations (one that favors both Fox and Patterson). Translation: Playing 3B, C, and LF really badly is considered better than not playing them at all, and Fox is likely to make the team despite his lousy spring both at the plate and in the field.
* As for Patterson, Forst & Co. probably noticed that Eric misplayed a ball in LF for an error and got trapped between 1B and 2B after singling. Then again, Patterson offers the versatility of playing 2B and LF really badly, so...Still, I'm betting on Fox over Patterson for this team in need of HR power, and I'm betting on Fox over Rosales due to who has an option left and who doesn't. Chavez, Powell, Gross, Fox? That's kind of what it read like from my vantage point between the lines.
* Barton or Chavez at 1B? Forst praised Barton's performance this Spring and acknowledged that he deserves a lot of playing time, but still suggested that how much Chavez can play will dictate how much Chavez will play. Translation: Look for Chavez to play a couple games/week at 1B, maybe another at DH, "just cuz."
* Cahill or Gio? No hints there -- the A's will watch both pitch tomorrow, and probably again Saturday, before making a decision. Translation: The A's are waiting for something to make the decision for them, and if Sheets, Duchscherer, and Braden are all ready for their first start, Farhan Zaidi will flip a coin and Curt Young will call it in the air.