Starters Sonny Gray and Scott Kazmir will not make starts for the first week of spring games, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Slusser notes that Gray threw a career high 219 innings in 2014, which is a 20% increase from the 182⅓ regular season innings he tossed in 2013. Kazmir "threw 190 innings, his most since 2007."
Slusser also says, "This is not entirely unusual for the A's, who have reduced innings for relievers in some springs after heavy use, including 2013 when Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle, and Grant Balfour got a break early in exhibition season."
Other news and notes from Mesa and around the World Wide Web:
- Jane Lee's news and notes column leads off with A's players among the first to take new domestic violence training courses on Thursday. Manager Bob Melvin echoed Billy Beane's sentiments on Mark Ellis, saying he's welcome to join the A's in some capacity. Barry Zito threw live batting practice, Bob Melvin "thought everything went well." Sonny Gray has a sty in his left eye, forcing him to wear glasses instead of contacts.
- Mark Canha "likes to refer to singles as 'fillers,'" Jane Lee writes in her Mark Canha profile.
Bay Area News Group
- On Cuban second baseman Hector Olivera, John Hickey has a source that says, "It seems like the A's are going to get priced out of the competition. There are teams out there that can simply outbid Oakland."
- Barry Zito cautions his former teammates Mark Ellis, who announced his retirement Wednesday night, and Tim Hudson, who may retire after this year, that retirement is harder than they think, Carl Steward writes.
Comcast SportsNet -- Joe Stiglich
- Pat Venditte, Sr. watched his son face hitters, and got to meet manager Bob Melvin today (Video autoplays).
- In Stiglich's Thursday notes column, he says Chris Bassitt has impressed in camp so far. Also, Mark Canha's status as a Rule 5 draft selection places Nate Freiman at a disadvantage. Eric Sogard thought Sonny Gray looked great in glasses.
- At the top of "Nine Spring Training Job Battles to Watch", Jason Wojciechowski offers up his take on the A's rotation battle, "The war of the next six weeks isn't going to write these roles in stones so much foresheadow an ongoing evaluation of all the players involved and the team's competitive context."
- Wilson Karaman reviews Jesse Hahn's 2014, and behind the paywall, wonders whether Hahn's innings jump from 2013 to 2014 foretells a struggle ahead.
- Baseball America's Ben Badler interviews Cuban second baseman Hector Olivera (subscription required).
- Fangraphs' Craig Edwards breaks down American League payrolls.
- Just A Bit Outside's David Golebiewski fires up his infographics machine on Jason Giambi's career.
Dallas Braden (@DALLASBRADEN209) February 26, 2015
Tyler Clippard at work on Field 4: pic.twitter.com/zad9qFjvFX— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) February 26, 2015