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Open Thread - 3/12, A's vs Royals

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Oakland hosts Kansas City in today's Spring Training game.

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Let's start with today's news. According to Susan Slusser, Grant Balfour is starting to throw to hitters and will do that a few times before appearing in a game. He apparently heals at a Pujolsian rate, though, because just 90 minutes later that plan had changed: he will throw to hitters today, and then should be ready for game action. At this rate, I'd say that he should be fully healed by dinnertime.

Meanwhile, Yoenis Cespedes is "all smiles" after seeing his mother for the first time in a year. Here's some more about Cespedes's family.

Also in that last link Fernando Rodriguez is going for an MRI on his right elbow. Umm, not to be a Debbie Downer for the 2nd day in a row, but when I see a guy clutch his elbow and then go for an MRI, it usually means one thing. Let's hope that I'm jumping the gun on that one.

Oakland's lineup:

Coco Crisp - CF
Scott Sizemore - 2B
Jed Lowrie - 3B
Yoenis Cespedes - LF
Brandon Moss - DH
Chris Young - RF
Daric Barton - 1B
Derek Norris - C
Eric Sogard - SS

Tommy Milone (starting)
Jerry Blevins
Jordan Norberto
Ryan Cook
Chris Resop
Pat Neshek
James Simmons
Evan Scribner

Kansas City is sending James Shields to the mound, so that usually means that the A's will either get shut out or score 10 runs in 3 innings. Nothing in between.