Notes: 7's the new 9 in camp; Montas update

A's invoke 7-inning contest for Sunday's spring opener; Andrus set to debut

February 27th, 2021

MESA, Ariz. -- A last-minute adjustment in pitching plans led to A’s manager Bob Melvin holding off on announcing a starter for Sunday’s Cactus League opener against the Dodgers, though he did reveal other important details about the contest.

With MLB allowing Spring Training games through March 13 to be shortened to five or seven-inning games upon mutual agreement of both managers, Melvin announced on Friday that Sunday’s game will be a seven-inning contest. The A’s are also planning to shorten the next three games that follow Sunday’s opener.

“Something could transpire between now and then that would suggest we need to do it differently,” Melvin said. “But for now, those first four [games] will be seven innings.”

As far as position players go, Mark Canha, Ramón Laureano, Elvis Andrus and Mitch Moreland are among the A’s regulars expected to play in the first Cactus League game. For newcomers Andrus and Moreland, Sunday would mark their first game played in an A’s uniform. Andrus will likely get an off-day for Monday’s home game against the Reds before returning for Tuesday’s road game against the Brewers.

Montas begins progression

Back from the COVID-19 injured list, Frankie Montas will begin to ramp up in camp. The A’s 2020 Opening Day starter has already begun a throwing program and will build up his workload throughout the Cactus League.

“He feels fine,” Melvin said. “He’ll throw bullpens just like everybody else did and throw to hitters, more in a simulated situation. He’ll be on the same schedule everybody else was, just a little bit behind.”