Harden, who missed 94 games last season with a sprained right elbow ligament, stuck mainly to his fastball and changeup early in the spring. He's now opening up the full arsenal, giving hitters his slider and split-fingered fastball to think about as well.
"It usually takes me a while to get my command," he said. "The last few years I'm learning how to get myself on track (earlier)."
|Dan Haren will be the Opening Day starter.|
Harden would start the home opener April 9 against the Chicago White Sox.
Other Camp Notes
|Nick Swisher has a team-leading four homeruns this spring.|
--SS Bobby Crosby returned to the major league spring field on Wednesday and he went 1-for-3 on March 21 in his first Cactus League action. Crosby had missed all of the spring recovering from a back injury he sustained in August last season. Crosby took Thursday off and then played again on Friday, collecting three hits, including a long homerun to left.
|Lou Merloni has recovered from being hit in the head with a pitch.|
--INF Antonio Perez, who hit only .102 last season in limited action, has impressed this spring at the plate and with his active baserunning. Perez is batting .348 with three stolen bases in 46 at-bats this spring. He has seen time at third, short and second and has had reps in the outfield in center and left. Perez is being considered as an emergency outfielder with Mark Kotsay on the shelf and Bobby Kielty still recovering from knee surgery. Perez has only played one inning in the major leagues in the outfield, but he has looked surprisingly good out there this spring.
|Erubiel Durazo is hitting .317 through 18 spring games.|
--OF Bobby Kielty began hitting off a tee last week and he participated in a simulated game on Friday. He is recovering well from left knee surgery and is optimistic he'll be ready for Opening Day.
BY THE NUMBERS: 12 -- The number of pitchers the A's are likely to keep. A main decision will be whether to add a second left-hander (likely Rule 5 pick Jay Marshall or Joe Kennedy) to the bullpen alongside Alan Embree.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I was taking two-hour naps in the middle of the day. Everybody was asking if I could sleep. It was easy. I was sleeping all day." -- Infielder Lou Merloni, on the after-effects of a concussion he suffered after being hit on the head with a pitch.