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News » A's infield 'D'-- lights in first week

A's infield 'D'-- lights in first week

A's infield 'D'-- lights in first week
OAKLAND The A's talked about how their revamped offense could take some pressure off their young starting rotation this season.

In the early going, it's been some stellar defense from the A's infield that's doing the trick.

Trevor Cahill noted as much Sunday after his seven-inning outing in a 1-0 loss to Seattle, during which he was helped by a few nice defensive plays.

A grounder up the middle turned into a 6-4-3 double play in the first after Cahill walked the leadoff batter. Orlando Cabrera and Mark Ellis would team up on another double play in the third after a walk.

"I've seen that since Game 1," said Cahill, who split last season between Single-A and Double-A. "It's just unbelievable how much sharper guys are up here."

At full strength, the A's infield (left to right) of Eric Chavez, Cabrera, Ellis and Jason Giambi is one of their strongest defensively in recent memory. Cabrera went to a knee to make a backhanded stop of Mike Sweeney's grounder in the second and threw to first, where Giambi scooped his short-hop throw for the out.

Chavez, coming back from right shoulder surgery as is Ellis, has yet to show any ill effects defensively. He charged a slow grounder Friday night against Seattle and had to make a throw on the run, the kind of test that he said he didn't get in limited spring training action.

He made another nice stop going to his left on Ronny Cedeno's grounder in the third on Sunday.

"Defense is totally fine, I feel great out there," Chavez said. As for that .150 batting average? "Still a work in progress."

Chavez jammed his right shoulder while diving back to first base Friday night, then was given a planned day off Saturday.

Short hops

Sweeney, the Mariners designated hitter who spent last season with Oakland, had the game-winning RBI on Sunday against his former team. Sweeney was contemplating retirement because of achy knees after getting released by the A's in September. But he was able to avoid surgery and won a job with Seattle as a non-roster invitee in the spring. "... Giambi was back at first base after being lifted in the seventh inning Saturday because of tired legs. Manager Bob Geren said Giambi would DH tonight against Boston, with Nomar Garciaparra playing first. Expect Giambi to continue to get semi-regular time at DH to save his legs. "... Justin Duchscherer continues to rehab in Phoenix after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow March 31. Geren said Duchscherer wouldn't rejoin the team until he's ready to pitch. "... The A's have lost six straight to the Mariners, tying their longest losing streak ever against the franchise.

Joe Stiglich

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 13, 2009

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