Lots of new today as pitchers and catchers reported to spring camp.
Barry Zito penciled in for at least one start
"You don't bring a guy into camp if there's no shot," Bob Melvin told Joe Stiglich and assembled reporters today in declaring that Barry Zito will get at least one start in the early going. There are a lot of pitchers to be evaluated this spring, and Zito is up for trying anything, whether it's pitching out of the bullpen or starting, Melvin says.
Pitcher rehabs on track
Rehabilitations for Sean Doolittle (shoulder), A.J. Griffin (Tommy John), and Jarrod Parker (Tommy John) remain on schedule, Joe Stiglich writes. Griffin and Parker are expected to return midseason, according to Slusser writing from A's Fanfest, with Griffin likely to be ready first. On Friday, Griffin will throw his fourth side session, Slusser writes from Mesa.
Slusser also reports that Sean "Doolittle said that the latest ultrasound on his left shoulder showed that the tear in his rotator cuff has healed." Doolittle will "ramp up his strengthening program," though "he won't throw for several more weeks."
Bob Melvin lists his temporary closer candidates
Manager Bob Melvin rattled off Tyler Clippard, Ryan Cook, Eric O'Flahrety, and Dan Otero as his candidates to close in his first media availability today, according to Susan Slusser. Cook has closed before, and O'Flaherty was mentioned as a possible candidate to succeed Jim Johnson when he was acquired, prior to Doolittle's ascent to the closer role.
Clippard remains the consensus favorite, however. Clippard told Slusser, "Whatever role they want me to do, I will do wholeheartedly and embrace. I think any good bullpen in the big leagues has multiple guys who can close games, and I think we have that here."
Early arrivals at the new spring facility
Coco Crisp, Billy Butler, Josh Reddick, and Marcus Semien are among the position players already on site, according to tweets from Jane Lee and Susan Slusser. Eric Sogard was also spotted chatting with KTVU Sports Anchor Joe Fonzi:
Oakland Athletics (@Athletics) February 19, 2015
The players are enjoying the new Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park, which players are already calling "The Wolff," according to John Hickey. Hickey also takes us on a tour of the clubhouse at HoHoKam Stadium.
Happy birthday Josh Reddick and Dan Otero