Suzuki likes look of Oakland's pitching


POSTED: Monday, February 23, 2009

PHOENIX » Kurt Suzuki gets excited in a hurry when the topic turns to the young pitchers in camp with the Oakland Athletics.

In his third year as a major league catcher, the Wailuku-born Suzuki has nearly made the rounds of catching all 29 pitchers, 12 of them non-rostered, and thinks nearly all of them are ready to make their marks in the majors in the near future.

“;They really do all have a chance,”; said Suzuki, the A's second round draft pick out of Cal State Fullerton in 2004. “;Everybody I have caught has a quality arm and quality stuff. It's definitely exciting.”;

He's catching a lot of guys for the first time, guys who will likely start the season in the minors. That doesn't matter, because Suzuki wants the experience of working with them. He's that confident he'll be seeing several new faces throughout the season.

“;Catching them now will only help when they reach the majors,”; Suzuki said. “;I think it's a huge advantage that we will have worked together.”;

Keeping all the information organized and filed away in his intellect, apparently, is the fun part of his job. He's rapidly developing a book on all of them.

“;One of the guys who has really impressed me is (right-hander) Vin Mazzaro,”; Suzuki said. “;The arsenal he has is impressive. He has good movement on his fastball, throws hard and has a good mix. For him, it's only a matter of consistency.”;


Guerrero due back soon

TEMPE, Ariz. » Angels manager Mike Scioscia said yesterday that eight-time All-Star Vladimir Guerrero should be on the field earlier than expected this spring.

Scioscia said the right-fielder, who had surgery on his right medial meniscus on Oct. 10, should be ready to play by the second week of March, slightly earlier than initially scheduled.


Jeter has sore hamstring

TAMPA, Fla. » Yankees captain Derek Jeter has a sore right hamstring and expects to resume running tomorrow.

Jeter took part in all drills yesterday except a running program.

“;It's no big deal,”; Jeter said. “;It's really not an issue.”;


Guillen worked with Presinal

SURPRISE, Ariz. » Kansas City Royals star Jose Guillen acknowledged Saturday that he had worked with a trainer from the Dominican Republic who has been banned from major league clubhouses.

Guillen said he worked with Angel Presinal “;for a very long time”; but that the regimen never included performance-enhancing drugs.

“;I never saw an injection,”; Guillen said. “;He never asked me about steroids or anything.”;


Anderson going to Braves

ATLANTA » The Atlanta Braves shored up their outfield yesterday by reaching a preliminary agreement with Garret Anderson on a one-year deal.

Anderson is expected to undergo a physical today or tomorrow, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal hadn't been finalized.


Perez a no-show at camp

VIERA, Fla. » Left-hander Odalis Perez was a no-show at the Washington Nationals' training camp yesterday, the last day for players to report without facing the possibility of disciplinary action.

Perez has expressed his dissatisfaction with his contract since he gave his agent the OK to sign a non-guaranteed minor league deal with Washington on Feb. 5 that would pay him $850,000 if he makes the team, the same stipulation he faced last year.