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Athletics Vs. Mariners: Oakland Sets Cactus League Opener Lineup

The Oakland Athletics get are getting some competitive action in on Thursday as they have put together an intrasquad matchup. This gives them a chance for some more competitive opportunities a day before they make their Cactus League debut against the Seattle Mariners Friday at 12:05pm PT.

Susan Slusser tweeted the A's Friday lineup and it is expected to be similar to what the team will debut against the Mariners in Japan later this month. Here is their lineup:

1. Jemile Weeks, 2B
2. Cliff Pennington, SS
3. Coco Crisp, CF
4. Manny Ramirez, DH
5. Seth Smith, LF
6. Josh Reddick, RF
7. Kurt Suzuki, C
8. Brandon Allen, 1B
9. Josh Donaldson, 3B

When Opening Day rolls around, Manny Ramirez will not be part of the lineup due to a 50-game suspension for his positive drug test. Cuban slugger Yoenis Cespedes is also expected into camp as soon as this weekend, and is expected to work his way into the starting lineup.

As the A's get their season started, the two most intriguing battles will be every outfield spot (starting and depth) after Crisp and Cespedes, and the newly minted third base battle. The loss of Scott Sizemore to a torn ACL opens the door for a host of players to step in. Josh Donaldson is getting first crack at the position. He came to the A's as a catcher, but has been working on third base all winter in an attempt to provide some versatility to make the roster. Now that Sizemore is done for the year, the timing could not be better for Donaldson.