The Oakland Athletics will continue to roll out Hideki Matsui in left field as they open their interleague series with the Philadelphia Phillies. Josh Willingham is on the disabled list with an Achilles injury and Matsui has shown some flair out in the field. While Matsui’s offensive numbers aren’t spectacular, he appears to be working his way back and thus the A’s will do what they can to get him into the lineup.
Mark Ellis is back on the bench as the A’s go with Jemile Weeks at second, Conor Jackson at first and Scott Sizemore at third. While Ellis will get some at bats in the coming days, the Weeks-Jackson-Sizemore trio remains the optimal group around Cliff Pennington in the infield.
If the A’s are going to find some level of offensive consistency, it will be with that infield. They’ll need every run they can get as the Philadelphia Phillies offense brings some serious lumber. The Phillies offense isn’t as dominant as some, but it’s sufficiently explosive that the A’s will need all the offensive support they can muster.