OAKLAND -- A's general manager Billy Beane is making sure catcher Kurt Suzuki is never placed in a position that could result in a similar fate that the Giants' Buster Posey suffered.
Beane, Suzuki said, has relayed orders to his backstop not to block the plate when there's a chance of a big collision. The decision comes less than a week after Posey endured a season-ending ankle injury following a crushing hit at the plate from the Marlins' Scott Cousins.
"Don't put yourself in a vulnerable position, basically," Suzuki explained. "He said keep doing what I'm doing, but obviously, don't stand in front of the plate. I'm not a guy that does anyway. We talked about how I'm not the biggest guy."
Suzuki is listed as 5-foot-11 at just 196 pounds -- reason enough to stay out of harm's way. But according to ESPN.com, Beane represents the first executive to give such orders.
"He said, 'Hey, what happened to Posey was awful, kind of a freak accident, but basically I don't want that to happen to you. I don't want you to have surgery and to be out the rest of the year,'" Suzuki said. "He was just reiterating that."
Since Posey's incident, much has been made of whether Major League Baseball should consider new rules to better protect catchers from such collisions at the plate. Don't count Suzuki among those supporters, though.
"As a catcher, you have to be ready for plays like that," he said. "It's part of the game and part of playing the game hard. I personally don't think they should change the rules, because I think it would make it too tough.
"The game's been played this way for a number of years, and when you're catching you know you're putting the gear on and there's a possibility of getting run over. That's the chance you take."
Slumping Matsui out of A's lineup again
OAKLAND -- Hideki Matsui surely faced similar struggles in his previous eight Major League seasons. Never before, though, have they resulted in as many days out of the lineup.
Oakland's struggling designated hitter was out of the starting lineup for the second straight day on Wednesday and the third time in the past four days, despite the past two games coming against right-handers.
"In order to get out of a slump, you have to play," Matsui said through translator Roger Kahlon.
But manager Bob Geren elected to utilize David DeJesus in the DH spot for the club's series finale against the Yankees, marking just the fourth time in DeJesus' career that he's started there. Ryan Sweeney, meanwhile, got the start in right field.
"[Matsui] has been struggling a little bit right now, and we've got a couple other guys swinging the bats pretty good, so we're just putting other guys in," Geren said. "We fully expect him to be fine and contribute and have a nice second half, but right now Sweeney's swinging the bat well, and [Josh] Willingham's driving the ball, and DeJesus has been one of our best hitters."
Matsui is hitting .222 on the season with a .667 OPS, and he collected 14 hits in 71 at-bats in the month of May. However, he's a .300 career hitter in June and also boasts a .307 average in the month of July, and Wednesday he noted an improved comfort level with the bat.
"Practice has been pretty good," he said. "I've been feeling pretty good there, swinging pretty well. Obviously in the games, there have been times where results are there and times when it hasn't been, but personally I feel like things aren't bad."
But it's a game of production, and if Matsui doesn't provide that when given the opportunity, his playing time will continue to be in jeopardy. Geren doesn't see that being an issue, though.
"I don't see anything mechanically wrong right now," the A's skipper said. "Everybody has hot and cold spells. I don't think there are really any issues. I fully expect him to be fine. I'll get him back in there, and I believe he'll have a good year for us, I really do."
Said Matsui: "I'd like to believe so, too, but in order for the results to come, you have to play, and if you play, then the results will dictate where that will go."
A's skip Moscoso in rotation for Boston trip
OAKLAND -- The A's current plan is to utilize Thursday's off-day as a chance to have their Nos. 1 and 2 starters take the mound at Fenway Park in Boston this weekend.
The club announced its probable pitchers for the three-game set against the Red Sox on Wednesday, with Josh Outman getting the nod for Friday's opener, and Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson pitching in the final two games.
That means Guillermo Moscoso's fifth spot will be skipped, and he likely won't go again until Tuesday in Baltimore. But in making that decision, the A's were able to fit Anderson into the mix at Fenway, where he's 2-0 with a 2.65 ERA in three career starts.