The Oakland A's had a day off from Cactus League play on Wednesday, but there are still links to catch up on. Let's get to it!
- Starting pitcher Rich Hill will make his next spring training start in a minor league game, reports Jane Lee of MLB.com. Click through to read about the rationale, and for some quotes from Hill and manager Bob Melvin. Personally, my advice is still to not freak out about anything that happens in spring training that isn't injury-related.
- We already know that the 2015 A's had some of the worst outfield throwing arms in baseball, and that was before adding Khris Davis to the mix. Mike Petriello uses Statcast to show us that those same 2015 A's outfielders were arguably the best in baseball at catching "line drives and hard-hit flies," although that included 700 innings of Sam Fuld that may be removed from the equation this season.
- Jarrod Parker is in a tough spot, but Carl Steward of the Bay Area News Group says that he has a teammate who has walked a similar path.
- Over at Oakland Clubhouse, Melissa Lockard has an interview with 2015 draftee James Naile. The right-handed reliever was only a 20th-round pick, but he impressed in his debut with Low-A Vermont and actually ranked as the No. 49 prospect in the A's system on Oakland Clubhouse's recent Top 50 list (only seven of last summer's draftees made that list).
- Forget team affiliations for a moment. In Monday's A's/Giants game, Billy Burns hit Johnny Cueto's first pitch right back up the middle and off of the hurler's noggin. Fortunately, Cueto is okay, reports Andrew Baggarly.
- Yesterday's roundup included the news that White Sox DH Adam LaRoche announced his retirement. Turns out there's a loooot more to the story than just injuries or poor play or being 36 years old.
- Just for fun, here's a video of Danny Valencia smoking a home run against the Giants on Monday:
The Best Shape of My Life
What's that smell?
Bonus: Road trip!
At 6:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, Jeremy Koo and I left my house in Walnut Creek. Around 13 hours later, we arrived in Mesa, Arizona, where we'll be reporting live from the A's Cactus League games from Thu-Sun. In the meantime, here's my favorite photo from the drive, from the General Patton Memorial Museum in Indio, CA. For some reason, they wouldn't let us take this hog out for a spin.
Got more links? Dump away in the comments!