Should The A's Be Worried About Losing?

The A's record is now 1-6 this spring, after a 10-3 loss to the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, but there isn't panic in A's land.

General manager Billy Beane is notorious for wanting to win every game, even in spring training, but he isn't going to go Steinbrenner on anybody. Or start ordering players on the mend slowly to rush back into games.

After all, as pitching coach Curt Young reminded manager Ken Macha, the A's haven't used five of the projected 11 pitchers on their Opening Day staff.

The A's also haven't started their regular nine, since Bobby Crosby hasn't been cleared to play shortstop yet, Frank Thomas is only taking batting practice, and Macha is keeping his regulars on different playing schedules.

In addition, the prospects the A's are using at the end of games this spring are mostly from the lower levels -- such as Cliff Pennington, Danny Putnam and Javier Herrera (none of whom have played above A-ball).

"They are the future and we want to get their feet wet," Macha said.

"I'm pleased with the effort. But nobody likes getting their butt whipped."

Injury Update

--SS Bobby Crosby said Wednesday he stopped taking eye fluid after the first and second time he had pink eye and that's why it returned, so he'll keep taking the medication. Crosby probably will make throws during batting practice Thursday, and the tentative plan has him making his first appearance in the field Friday. He can't wait to play shortstop because "DHing is not for me. I'm probably driving people crazy going up and down the dugout," he said.

--RHP Justin Duchscherer, slowed by a groin pull earlier this week, was drilled in the shoulder during his simulated game Tuesday, but he continued to throw and should pitch in his first Cactus League game this weekend.

Rotation Set?

Barry Zito makes his second start of the spring Thursday against the Brewers. Zito is on schedule to be the opening night starter for a second straight year, but the A's are waiting until the middle of the month to assess where Rich Harden and Esteban Loaiza's schedules are before making it official.

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