The extended report for today’s events

Posted By on January 22, 2009 4:55 pm

Bob Geren talked for a while about the state of the team heading into spring training, then Matt Holliday, Travis Buck, Aaron Cunningham, Cliff Pennington, Dana Eveland and Ryan Sweeney were available.

The most interesting thing out of all this, to me anyway, was what Geren said about the starting rotation. As of now, he views Justin Duchscherer, Sean Gallagher, Dana Eveland and Dallas Braden as the pitchers who have spots to lose, with Josh Outman and Gio Gonzalez as the guys competing for the No. 5 spot. Braden made only 10 starts at the end of the season, posting a 3.97 ERA in those games. Apparently that was enough to convince Geren.

“I think he proved he deserves a spot there,” Geren said.

What about Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson and Vin Mazzaro? According to assistant GM David Forst, all three go into camp at about the same level, needing some Triple A seasoning.

Other tidbits…

  • Forst issued as non-commital a statement as could be when asked if Matt Holliday would be with the team all year: “We’ll see how the season plays out. We made the trade for Matt regardless of how long he’s here. He’ll help us on Opening Day. Whether he’s here in July or at the end of the season or for seasons to come, he’s here to help us right now.”

    Holliday, who later admitted he’ll be renting, not buying, in the Bay Area, said he understands he could be gone in 2010, but he isn’t thinking about going any sooner: “I figure we’ll be playing pretty good. I don’t think they’d want to get rid of me if we’re right in the middle of it.”

    Speaking of Holliday, Geren said he hasn’t decided if he’ll hit third or fourth, because he hasn’t decided who will hit second or third. Seems like it would be obvious that it would be better to have Holliday hitting fourth, to break up the lefties (Jason Giambi, Eric Chavez, Jack Cust).

  • Geren was equally non-commital when it came to his closer situation. It could be Brad Ziegler. Could be Joey Devine. Could be both. Geren also said those are the only two secure bullpen jobs. The other five spots are wide open.

    Despite the uncertainty: “We’ll have a good bullpen, I guarantee that.”

    There ya go, a guarantee.

  • On the health front, Chavez is taking ground balls, throwing, running and hitting. Yes, that’s everything. Geren said he expects him to be 100 percent when spring begins. Mark Ellis just this week started throwing. He’s going to be behind when camp opens, but is still expected to be ready by opening day. Same goes for Daric Barton, who had hip surgery. Duchscherer is not expected to be limited at all when camp opens.
  • Discussing the A’s potential defensive issues with Giambi or Cust in the field, Geren was predictably optimistic. He said Giambi is “average” and Cust is “a lot better outfielder than a lot of people think.” Geren also revealed that Cust didn’t make an error last season after getting a new glove. Whew!

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