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Casilla focused on moving forward after debut

March 12, 2017

MESA, Ariz. -- Santiago Casilla's spring debut didn't go exactly the way he hoped his first outing in an A's uniform since 2009 would go, but the veteran reliever said Sunday that it's all relative at this point."It was my first outing, and it's just practice," Casilla said, after the

MESA, Ariz. -- Santiago Casilla's spring debut didn't go exactly the way he hoped his first outing in an A's uniform since 2009 would go, but the veteran reliever said Sunday that it's all relative at this point.
"It was my first outing, and it's just practice," Casilla said, after the A's 9-8 win over the Cubs.
True, it is only Spring Training. Plus, it came only a week after he arrived in camp after a lengthy visa process delayed his arrival from the Dominican Republic.
But from bouncing his first pitch to throwing a changeup that the Cubs' Kyle Schwarber crushed 400-plus feet to dead center for a two-run triple on his last pitch, the results weren't pretty -- two runs on two hits while facing five batters.
"Obviously, it was my first outing and the pitches weren't where I wanted," Casilla said. "Usually, it's not a long process [to get ready for the season], but this was just my first one."
A's manager Bob Melvin said results weren't the focus at all in evaluating Casilla's debut, particularly with his late arrival.
"You know what, he's a little bit behind and we got him in a game a little bit quicker than we normally do," Melvin said. "We just wanted to make sure he got 25 pitches in. We're not worried about anything."
Worth noting
• Melvin returned to camp Sunday after being away in the Bay Area since Friday due to the death of his mother, Judy. Appreciative of the support he has received, Melvin also made a point to thank his coaching staff for holding things together in his absence.
"Our staff did an unbelievable job, particularly Mark Kotsay, so it's easy to be able to leave and know that everything's going to be taken care of beautifully, and it was," Melvin said.
Raul Alcantara, vying for a spot in the A's rotation, gave up five hits and a pair of earned runs -- both coming on a Kristopher Bryant two-run homer off a fastball -- in his first start and fourth appearance of the spring. But he came out of it feeling good about his health and his progress.
"I felt good," he said. "It was a tough lineup, but I made a lot of pitches early. Obviously, Bryant got a good chunk of that ball, but I felt good out there."
• Melvin said reliever Sean Doolittle will make his first mound appearance of the spring on Tuesday. Doolittle has been brought along slowly this spring and threw 20 pitches in a batting-practice session earlier this week.
• The A's made their second round of cuts of the spring Sunday, reassigning 11 players to their Minor League camp to bring the total of players in Major League camp to 52.
Right-handed pitchers Zach Neal and Tyler Sturdevant, left-handed pitcher Felix Doubront, infielders Jermaine Curtis, Richie Martin, Player Page for Max Muncy, Renato Nunez, Rangel Ravelo and Josh Rodriguez, and outfielders Andrew Lambo and Kenny Wilson were moved to the Minor League side.
There are 39 players from the 40-man roster still in camp, along with 13 non-roster invitees. There are 24 pitchers, six catchers, 13 infielders and nine outfielders still in camp.
• Quotable: "We really feel like this is a good group and this is going to be a year where we're headed in the right direction," Melvin said.

John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnSchlegelMLB.