OAKLAND — Carlos Gonzalez and Chris Denorfia were recalled from the minors before Wednesday's game with the Los Angeles Angels.
Happy as they were to get back to the major leagues, they both took great satisfaction in helping Triple-A Sacramento on another postseason run.
A night earlier, both were in the lineup as Sacramento beat the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) Yankees 4-1 for the Triple-A championship. That came after the River Cats wrapped up their second straight Pacific Coast League championship. "That was a good experience," Gonzalez said. "Someday I wish we could do that here — be in a championship and win. It's the best feeling ever."
Both thrived in the postseason, sharing PCL Postseason MVP honors. Denorfia hit .486 with four homers in eight playoff games. Gonzalez hit .406 with eight RBI.
Now A's manager Bob Geren will try to spread playing time among seven outfielders on his roster.
When Gonzalez, the A's top prospect, was optioned to Sacramento on Aug. 28, his confidence had dipped along with his batting average. He said the adjustments he made were mental as well as mechanical. "We talked about how I was my last few days when I was (in Oakland)," Gonzalez said. "I was anxious. I was getting myself in a bad position. I felt like every time I went up to the plate I had two strikes on me."
After breaking spring camp with the A's, Denorfia missed more than two months with a back injury after missing the entire 2007 season because of Tommy John surgery on his elbow. But he's now healthy and feeling good at the plate, even if he doesn't have a concrete explanation why.
Ellis to have surgery
Geren confirmed that second baseman Mark Ellis will have arthroscopic surgery Friday in Arizona to repair cartilage damage in his right shoulder.
It was announced last week Ellis would miss the rest of the season. He was awaiting a second opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum before deciding on surgery. Ellis expects to be 100 percent by spring training but may not be with the A's. He can become a free agent at season's end.
The A's released their 2009 schedule and announced that ticket prices will not increase. In some sections they'll decrease. They'll play 16 of their first 25 games on the road but will play at least 15 home games in May, June and August. After opening the season April 6 with four games on the road against the Angels, they will open at home April 10 against Seattle. The Red Sox make their only trip to Oakland April 13-15. The Yankees visit Aug. 17-19.
— Joe Stiglich