A's Notes: Bailey & Harden Injured, Opening Night, & More!

The Athletics are hurting once again, as the team lost All-Star closer Andrew Bailey yesterday to an elbow injury. Bailey, who finished the 2010 season on the disabled-list, apparently injured his surgically repaired elbow during a pitch in yesterday’s game against Cleveland.

He’s had two surgeries on the same elbow in the past, and according to San Francisco Chronicle writer Susan Slusser, the news swirling around Bailey’s health in looking rather grim. According to her report, Slusser notes that Bailey will be visiting Dr. James Andrews in Alabama today.

It is possible, especially if the news is not good news, that Bailey will open the season on the DL. It’s nothing new for Oakland, however, as the team has been hit with various injuries over the past four seasons.

Another training-room favorite, Rich Harden, is also being shut down again according to Slusser. Harden, 29, has been shut down since February due to a lat injury. Harden is apparently experiences some discomfort in the same area, and is being shut down once again.

This comes after the A’s announced that Harden will not be in the running for the team’s vacant No.5 starter job. This leaves the door open for other candidates like Brandon McCarthy, Tyson Ross, and Bobby Cramer. Josh Outman is a contender as well for the job, although his spring stats are not encouraging.

Speaking of starters, the A’s have a tough choice to make about their Opening Night starter. Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez are the two likely candidates, with the latter becoming a more likely choice due to his impressive spring numbers. Through 9.1 innings of work this spring, Gonzalez has compiled a 1-0 record with a microscopic 0.96 ERA. He’s also put up the K’s as well, as he’s recorded 13.

My pick would be Gonzalez.

Other minor observations from Spring Training:

Chris Carter launched two homers in yesterday’s game against the Indians. Now, this is the type of power the A’s need. Carter is batting .250 with two homers and 7 RBIs this spring. Daric Barton remains, however, the team’s starting first-baseman.

Hideki Matsui is currently hitting just .115 this spring. He does have a homer and a pair of RBIs to go along with that, however. The A’s are hoping that Matsui provides a much needed spark in the middle of the order for them this year.

Michael Choice is certainly making himself known throughout A’s camp, as the outfielder has had himself a nice spring so far. In 18 at-bats, Choice is hitting .389/.476/.444, and that’s an encouraging sign from the A’s first-round pick.

Tags: 2009 Rookie Of The Year 2011 A's Bullpen A's Starting Rotation AL American League Andrew Bailey Bobby Cramer Brandon McCarthy Brian Fuentes Bullpen Chris Carter Daric Barton Disabled List DL Grant Balfour Harden DL Harden Injured Harden Injury Hideki Matsui Josh Outman MLB MLB Injuries Oakand Athletics Oakland Oakland A's Injury Oakland A's News Oakland A's Rumors Promotions Relief Relievers Rich Harden Rich Harden DL Tyson Ross

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