A's issues and answers

  • Grant Balfour, above right: Closer had knee surgery in February, but he's on schedule to be ready for Monday's opener.

  • Yoenis Cespedes, above left: Former Cuban star looks ready to step up among elite players in the game.

  • Depth: Goal was to make this a deeper team, and spring training suggests it's been achieved.

  • Outfield/D.H.: Manager Bob Melvin is confident there are enough at-bats for all five outfielders the team takes north. It will be a tight squeeze.

  • Middle infield: Jed Lowrie or Hiro Nakajima at shortstop. Will Eric Sogard and Scott Sizemore platoon at second?

  • Brett Anderson: Is left-hander going to be ace that A's need him to be?

    -- John Hickey