The A's visit the Cubs at Sloan Park in Mesa today in their third game of Cactus League play, and, oddly, some guy named "Barry Zito" is listed as their starting pitcher. Is it just me, or does that name ring a bell?
In all seriousness, though, Zito is making his return to professional baseball after a year out of the game. The last time he pitched for Oakland was Game 1 of the 2006 ALCS, which the A's dropped, 5-1, and after seven years of fairly consistent struggles on the other side of San Francisco Bay, it'll be very interesting to see how this 2015 A's experiment works out.
The starting defensive alignment for the A's is an interesting one: Billy Butler is playing first base, Eric Sogard is playing shortstop, and Coco Crisp is making his debut in left field following the club's announcement yesterday that he's being moved from center field to left in an effort to reduce the physical wear and tear he experiences and keep him healthy throughout the season.
First pitch from Mesa is set for noon Pacific, with lineups listed below: