Susan Slusser checked in from the Oakland Athletics first day of 2011 spring training yesterday with a variety of tweets regarding player health. According to Slusser, Ryan Sweeney is 100% after patella surgery and Landon Powell has reportedly dropped 15 pounds as he’ll battle with Josh Donaldson for backup playing time behind Kurt Suzki. The A’s offseason acquisitions of David DeJesus and Josh Willingham will leave Sweeney battling for time as a utility outfielder. Of course, given the injury issues the A’s have faced in recent years, one would imagine many of the backups will see plenty of playing time in 2011.
Cliff Pennington is arguably the most significant injury issue at this point, and he should be ready by the second week of games. Apparently he’s hitting from the left side, but not from the right side. Andrew Bailey has also dropped upwards of 15 pounds as he is preparing to rebound from September elbow surgery.
As spring training is kicking off, Athletics Nation put together a look at some of the A’s various under-the-radar stories kicking around in Phoenix. Among other things, AN takes a look Andy LaRoche’s talent, Bobby Cramer’s changeup, and some of the less discussed bullpen stories. Today, they have an open thread discussing the injury issues mentioned above.