PHOENIX -- The A's were forced to stick to what manager Bob Melvin called "Plan C" on Wednesday with practice rained out in Phoenix. The pitchers threw in the cages while the position players were given a day off. At this point in camp, Melvin didn't see it as a setback, and thinks the guys could benefit from some time off anyways. There was only one major issue in his mind.
"It's just trying to smack the smirk off the position players' faces when we made that announcement more than anything," he said.
The skipper did sprinkle in some news to keep things interesting from a media standpoint in the rain. He announced the first three starters of the Cactus League season.
[RATTO: What will A's do for an encore?]
Jesse Chavez will start the first game on Saturday, Travis Blackley will start on Sunday, and Andrew Werner will go on Monday.
Chavez will be looked at as a long reliever or starter. He had a 18.90 ERA in four games with the A's last season. Melvin believes he put him in some tough situations early, which contributed to the inflated ERA. He had a 1.80 ERA in two games including one start with the River Cats.
"All our development people raved about him last year in the limited time they saw him," Melvin said.
-- Left-handed pitcher Garrett Olson is feeling better after experiencing some pain in his right hamstring. Melvin said he probably could have pitched through the injury, but there's no sense rushing it.
The Oakland Athletics are the reigning American League West Champions, but they also have a new distinction. They have been named "the most metal team in baseball" by Decibel Magazine.
The heavy metal mag was at Phoenix Municipal Stadium Wednesday morning to shoot a rockin' photo session with pitchers Travis Blackley, Pat Neshek, and Sean Doolittle. To make sure they looked the part, Blackley even brought a bunch of band t-shirts for his teammates to wear -- just in case.
"We got interviewed by them the other day about how a lot of us are into that genre of music," Blackley said. "It was good fun. It was the first photo shoot I've ever done. I brought two shirts for two bands I'm friends with to plug them a little bit."
Blackley was referring to the Affliction Boys and Like Moths To Flames. The article will be part of Decibel Magazine's May issue. It will hit newsstands in April.
-- The team's biggest head-banger, Grant Balfour, was unable to participate in the shoot because he was hard at work rehabbing his right knee. At one point he was on the treadmill walking backwards on a steep incline setting. Not exactly metal, but definitely hardcore.
Addison Russell, 19, is the youngest player in any big league camp. On Wednesday he wore his motivation on his sleeves, sort of. Handwritten in bold on the back of the collar of his workout shirt was the phrase, "Never Settle."