TEMPE, Ariz. – The A’s are altering their pitching schedule for some of their veterans over the next couple of days.
Relievers John Axford and Ryan Madson will throw in a minor league game Wednesday, since Jesse Hahn and Eric Surkamp are expected to eat up most of the innings in Oakland’s Cactus League game against the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night in Peoria. Sean Doolittle will also face minor league hitters Wednesday, his first outing in more than a week after he was dealing with a mild triceps strain.
Sonny Gray will face minor league hitters Thursday rather than go that night against Texas. Felix Doubront will instead take the ball against the Rangers.
Since the A’s are in a stretch where they face several American League West teams in a row – plus the Kansas City Royals twice, who they’ll face early in the regular season – they’re trying to avoid giving opposing hitters an extended look at some of their front-line pitchers. However, in past springs the A’s have sent Gray to face minor league hitters for an outing around this period of camp anyway.
NOTEWORTHY: Danny Valencia continued his roll at the plate, crushing a homer to left-center that completely left Tempe Diablo Stadium in the A’s 6-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. The third baseman is tied for the Cactus League lead with five home runs, all of them coming over the past seven games.
Kendall Graveman made the start and worked into the sixth inning, giving up four runs on eight hits with two walks and a strikeout in 5 1/3 innings.
HEALTH UPDATES: Outfielder Sam Fuld went to Los Angeles to visit Dr. Neal ElAttrache for a second opinion on his sprained left shoulder.
Right-hander Henderson Alvarez is on a twice-a-week throwing schedule off the mound right now, going every Tuesday and Saturday. He threw fastballs and changeups in a roughly 35-pitch session Tuesday.
ODDS AND ENDS: Among the A’s hottest hitters this spring – right fielder Josh Reddick (hitting .444), second baseman Jed Lowrie (.429), center fielder Billy Burns ( .406) and Valencia (.419). … On the other end of the spectrum, Coco Crisp – who played left field Tuesday and hit second behind Burns -- is hitting just .156. … Ryan Dull threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings against the Angels and has yet to allow an earned run through six outings (7 1/3 IP).