OAKLAND -- The A's roster will take its opening day form this afternoon. Manager Bob Melvin said the team should announce its 25-man roster 20-30 minutes after today's exhibition game against the Giants at the Coliseum.
Still to be resolved are the middle infield and the final spot in the A's bullpen. The infield situation could get a lot clearer if shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima (hamstring) has to begin the season on the disabled list -- which Melvin (left) reiterated today is "very likely." Nakajima (left, making a tag) hasn't played since straining his left hamstring Tuesday. The A's would ostensibly keep Jed Lowrie, Eric Sogard and Scott Sizemore up the middle.
Melvin said Friday that the last bullpen decision is between four pitchers for one spot. Likely those are Pedro Figueroa, Evan Scribner, Mike Ekstrom and Hideki Okajima. Ekstrom, Figueroa and Okajima are all listed as available to pitch today.
But Melvin said the A's could very well just use starter Dan Straily and Bartolo Colon, who will miss the first five games serving the rest of his 50-game suspension from last season for performance-enhancing drugs.
By throwing Colon today, the A's could decide to just slide him into the rotation in their sixth game and push everybody else back a day. If they decide they want him slotted elsewhere in the rotation, they would likely need to figure out how to get Colon some work between today and his first start. Melvin (left) said that decision hasn't been made yet.
From Straily, Melvin said he just wants to see the right-hander "ramp it up" in his final spring start. The atmosphere is different in a big-league park and away from the thin air of Arizona and the Cactus League.
Here's the A's lineup for today's game:
That's seven left-handers (including switch-hitters Crisp and Lowrie) for Giants right-hander Ryan Vogelsong to navigate. That's what the A's are built to do, so get used to the match-ups this season. More on that in tomorrow's baseball preview section in the print edition of The Bee. Don't miss it.
-- Matt Kawahara