Athletics 5, Angels 4

March 9, 2009 6:56:39 PM PDT
Bobby Crosby has a locker full of gloves now, even a catcher's mitt.

SIGN-UP: Get breaking news sent to you

After the Athletics signed Orlando Cabrera last week to be their shortstop, Crosby started preparing for a utility role.

"Give me all the gloves you've got, every position," he said to equipment manager Steve Vucinich.

So Vucinich delivered, although Crosby figured the catcher's mitt was a joke.

Crosby made his debut at third base in the A's 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday. He said it was the first time he had played third since a Little League All-Star game when he was 11.

"It felt a little different, that's for sure," Crosby said. "At shortstop I really didn't have to think. I definitely had to think out there."

Crosby got one ball hit to him in six innings, a slow roller from catcher Jeff Mathis. Crosby charged in and handled the play perfectly.

"That was almost like a regular play I'd get at shortstop," he said.

Oakland manager Bob Geren said he'd like Crosby to be able to play all four infield positions, plus a corner outfield spot. For now, the A's will focus on getting him ready to play second and third. In the first two days of working out at other positions, he had only played second. Geren put him at third against the Angels because Eric Chavez was scratched with a sore shoulder.

Chavez, recovering from surgery in August, had been scheduled to make his debut in the field, but will be shut down for a few days, Geren said.

Meanwhile, Crosby reiterated that he'd like to be moved to a team where he could play shortstop every day, or at least play another position every day.

"I'll always consider myself a shortstop, that will never change," said Crosby, the 2004 AL Rookie of the Year. "As long as I'm here, if they need me to do other things and learn other positions, that's what I'll do. I'm here to help these guys win."

Aaron Cunningham singled in the winning run in the ninth inning against Los Angeles.

Angels starter Joe Saunders gave up two runs in three innings. He has been dealing with left elbow tightness that has slowed his progress this spring, but said he felt a little better on Monday.

"It probably didn't look as good as it felt," he said. "The fastball command probably still isn't there. The arm speed isn't there. I've just got to keep doing long toss until the arm strength gets to where it should be."

Saunders said he and the other starters are ready to pick up the slack for Ervin Santana, who will miss the start of the season with a sprained elbow.

"Like last year when (John) Lackey wasn't ready, me and Ervin took on the responsibility and got us off to the best start we could," Saunders said. "That's what teammates do."

A's starter Dallas Braden gave up one run in three innings. He said he has been pleased this spring with the development of his new cutter.

"It's producing a lot of strikes, bad swings, soft contact, which is just what we want," Braden said.

Notes:@ Angels LHP Brian Fuentes backed out of pitching for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic because of tightness in his back. Fuentes had been scheduled to join the team for the second round, after missing the first round because of a family issue. ... Oakland 1B Jason Giambi, who had been 1 for 17, had two hits. ... Giambi also mishandled two pickoff throws from Braden. It was the first time Giambi had played first with Braden on the mound. Braden, who was charged with errors on both throws, said, "luckily he knocked them down and they didn't go in the dugout."

       Today's latest headlines | ABC7 News on your phone
Follow us on Twitter | Fan us on Facebook | Get our free widget