PHOENIX -- As manager Bob Melvin said this morning that its still a question mark whether reliever Ryan Cook will begin the season on the 25-man roster given Cooks bothersome shoulder early this spring.
Cook, the As main right-handed set-up man last season, played catch from 105 feet Monday morning before the As played the Los Angeles Dodgers and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Thursday.
Melvin said he isnt sure how many Cactus League appearances Cook would need to make to be ready for the As opener March 31 against Cleveland, but he figures "its going to be close."
"Itll be close as far as Opening Day, but well see," Melvin said. "We still hold out hope that that could be the case."
Cook, for his part, seems pretty optimistic that it will be. Cook said he threw from 120 feet on Sunday with no pain and that his shoulder feels "really good, feels strong."
"I dont know what else I can say really at this point other than I definitely plan to be ready by Opening Day," he said. "I dont think thats outside the realm of possibility at all. In fact Im pretty condiment that I will be ready Opening Day."
The As have been taking it slow with Cooks throwing program and Melvin said the depth of the bullpen is one reason. Newly acquired Luke Gregerson provides another right-handed option for late innings, while Melvin said Dan Otero could be used in those situations as well.
* The As get an early look today at Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. Heres the lineup that Kershaw will face (at least the top):
And the Dodgers lineup against A.J. Griffin:
LF Van Slyke
* The pitching list for the As today is as follows: Griffin, Lindblom, Johnson, Doolittle, McBryde, Abad, Werner
* On a light note -- it is spring training after all -- Melvin was asked this morning about the fact that he (a former Cal player) has no Cal alums but three Stanford products (Jed Lowrie, Sam Fuld and Michael Taylor) in camp.
"Yeah, unfortunately," Melvin said with a smile. "We dont hold that against them."
Fuld is a non-roster invitee to camp with major-league experience and Melvin had some positive words about him, saying: "You see the way Fuld goes about his business at all three of those (outfield) spots, you dont have to tell him anything. Hes always aware of whats going on."
Melvin said the rivalry makes for some banter in the clubhouse, but the players know their limits. "They do like to play from time to time," he said.