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Athletics vs. Padres, 2011 Spring Training: Andrew Bailey, Ryan Sweeney Close To Returning

The Oakland Athletics host the San Diego Padres in Cactus League action today at 12:05pm in a game as the A’s get close seeing the Spring Training debuts of key players. According to Jane Lee, closer Andrew Bailey is scheduled to make his first appearance of the spring this Thursday. Ryan Sweeney is scheduled to play in the outfield tomorrow as he works back from knee issues. Craig Breslow is day-to-day with a hamstring strain and should be back soon.

Rich Harden is continuing to work his way back a lat injury. According to Lee he threw from 120 feet yesterday and is not feeling any pain. Harden will take today off and continue his long toss tomorrow. It’s a tough call as to where Harden is going to end up by the end of the spring. It sounds like he won’t be seeing any game action until next week at the earliest. There are only three weeks left in spring training, so Harden would need to put together an incredibly strong final two weeks if he wanted to win the fifth starter job. At this point it would seem like he’s destined for the bullpen or some early work at AAA if his recovery is extended.

The A’s send out Trevor Cahill today with this lineup:

1. Coco Crisp CF
2. Cliff Pennington SS
3. Mark Ellis 2B
4. Josh Willingham LF
5. Kurt Suzuki C
6. Conor Jackson DH
7. Andy LaRoche 1B
8. Michael Taylor RF
9. Wes Timmons 3B