Full A's Squad Reports for Spring Training

Pitchers and catchers for these new 2009 Oakland A'sreported Saturday, and the rest of the team took practice Wednesday. And by  "rest of the team," we mean just Jason Giambi and a couple of waiver wire guys. Everyone else was in camp early.

The defining characteristic of these 2009 A's in Spring Training is "beat up." Not that they've lost a game yet -- they're just hurt and still nursing injuries six months after wrapping up the 2008 campaign. Third baseman Eric Chavez is still recovering from four surgeries last year and will miss at least the first week of Cactus League play. Ditto plus an additional three weeks for Mark Ellis at second base. The A's only All-Star last year, flame-throwing reliever Justin Duchscherer is coming off hip surgery. Fortunately for the A's, the regular season begins a week later this year on account of the World Baseball Classic, so these guys can log in some extra recovery time in the hot tub.

And while we're on that World Baseball Classic thingy -- unofficial closer Brad Ziegler was just announced to Team USA!

The gaudy new free agent additions to this A's team have created some buzz. The acquisition of one-time NL MVP Matt Holliday had the Sporting News praising Oakland for "the best off-season in the AL West." And there's been no shortage of attention paid to a certain power hitter returning to his original team.

The A's kick off Cactus League play Feb. 25 against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who is spending some extra time recovery in the hot tub.

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