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Elephant Rumblings: Paul Blackburn, Manny Pina to begin season on IL

Plenty of questions remain for the A’s and their Opening Day roster

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Athletics manager Mark Kotsay confirmed Friday that starter Paul Blackburn and catcher Manny Pina will begin the 2023 season on the injured list. Blackburn has a torn fingernail on his pitching hand, while Pina is dealing with inflammation in the same wrist that he underwent season-ending surgery on last May.

Blackburn was the odds on favorite to the A’s Opening Day starter entering the spring. Shintaro Fujinami, Drew Rucinski and James Kaprielian are likely to begin the season in the rotation, as long as Kaprielian’s shoulder continues to hold up. Kyle Muller, Adam Oller, JP Sears and Ken Waldichuk are competing for the other two spots. Pina’s injury figures to be good news for Yohel Pozo who looks like the favorite to back up Shea Langeliers. Adding Pozo will require a 40-man roster move and there is always a chance that the team could turn to the waiver wire over the next couple of weeks as other teams start to pair down their rosters.

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Plenty of highlights from Friday’s spring win over the Giants including this throw by Shea Langeliers.

Cristian Pache needed a big string and so far he has delivered.

Zack Gelof is back in camp after playing in the World Baseball Classic. This play is a reminder that it has been fun watching the kids play this spring.