Notes: A's Street ahead of schedule

Notes: Athletics' Street ahead of schedule

PHOENIX -- To Huston Street, this feels like his first "real" Major League Spring Training.

"My first season, I was just trying to make the team, and last year we had the World Baseball Classic," said the young closer.

Still, Street was somewhat surprised at how good he felt after his session of throwing batting practice on Monday.

"I was talking with Joe Kennedy," Street said, "and we were saying that when you do a routine of side session, day off, side session, day off, that by that third time you're usually ready for a couple of days of rest, but right now I'm not experiencing even normal soreness."

Street credits a slightly altered offseason training regimen for this effect.

"I really concentrated on building up arm strength in the offseason," Street said. "I was throwing the football and doing long toss. I didn't throw any breaking stuff, and my arm is stronger than it's been at this point because of it."

The early results of his winter work have Street happy not only with how his arm feels but how he threw on Monday: "I feel ahead of where I wanted to be right now. I felt I had zip on my stuff today and I'm not even going full tilt yet, so I'm excited."

Crosby close: Although there was weekend talk of Bobby Crosby taking batting practice on Monday, manager Bob Geren said his shortstop wasn't quite ready yet.

"Maybe tomorrrow or Wednesday he'll take some live swings," said Geren. "Maybe another day or two of doing what he's doing and he'll be ready for that."

Crosby spent Monday's workout hitting soft toss in the cage and doing work in the weight room in his recovery from back surgery and wasn't sure about what to expect for Tuesday.

"They said I might pick up the soft toss a bit or I could be on the field," he said. "Either way it's not a concern right now. If I get in the field tomorrow or the next day it's not a big rush as long as I feel good."

The important thing is Crosby is pleased with how things are going so far: "It's coming slow, but that can be expected. I was just looking to come in and not have any setbacks. We're four or five days into it, and so far, so good. I'd like to get on the field, but there's no sense in rushing. If the season started tomorrow it would be a different issue."

More medical issues: Pitcher Justin Duchscherer was absent from Monday's workout due to a "non-baseball condition" and outfielder Mark Kotsay was experiencing tightness in his lower back and was held out of workouts. Geren did not seem overly concerned about either player and also mentioned that no further studies of Kotsay's back were anticipated at this time.

Spring Training
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Familiar faces arriving: Hiram Bocachica made his first appearance of the spring in the clubhouse after signing a Minor League deal on Sunday. He had been designated for assignment on Feb. 14 to make room on the 40-man roster for Lenny Dinardo and was released on the 22nd.

Bocachica had been playing in winter ball playoffs as recently as a couple of weeks ago and pronounced himself "ready to go."

"I'm glad he came back," Geren said. "I think he has experience and can play the infield or outfield, and that could fit in nicely depending how the roster shapes up, or throughout the course of the season."

Pitcher Santiago Casilla -- who had been absent from camp with visa issues and faces an uphill battle for a bullpen spot -- finally arrived in Arizona late Sunday night, and is expected at camp on Tuesday. Casilla had been working out at the club's complex in the Dominican Republic.

Quick hits: Alan Embree was originally scheduled to throw batting practice on Monday but requested a side session instead so he could work on his breaking ball to left-handed hitters. He was unhappy with his arm slot in his previous time out. Monday's session worked out well enough that he did wind up throwing some BP later in the workout. ... Geren singled out Milton Bradley and Jason Kendall for their performances in situational hitting drills. ... The A's will play their first intrasquad game of the spring on Tuesday at Papago Park.

Jason Grey is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.