Barton remains long shot for home opener

Barton remains long shot for home opener

SAN FRANCISCO -- Daric Barton was disappointed he didn't get to travel to Japan with his A's teammates for the season-opening series against the Seattle Mariners, but he was busy rehabbing his right shoulder. The 26-year-old first baseman, who underwent a procedure in September to shrink his shoulder capsule and repair a partially torn labrum, said "things would have to go perfect" in order for him to be available for Friday's regular-season contest against Seattle.

"Sometimes it feels good, sometimes it feels a little stiff," Barton said. "I'm going to go through ups and downs this year, I understand that."

Barton has appeared in just seven Spring Training games, batting .176 in 17 at-bats, with his only extra-base hit being a double. Doctors told Barton that players usually take a year to make a full recovery, if at all, as there's only a 50 percent chance of him being able to throw normally again.

"It's kind of tough to swallow," Barton said. "Then again, I know that they fixed my shoulder and I'm not going to have the same issues that I had last year. It's just something else I'm going have to deal with and push myself through. There's going to be discomfort, but hopefully it gets to the point where it's discomfort that I can deal with."

Barton is still currently on the active roster, but could be one of the two remaining roster cuts before Wednesday's deadline, as the A's have two other healthy first basemen: Kila Ka'aihue and Brandon Allen. Aside from rehabbing during Oakland's Japan trip, Barton said he also got to know Manny Ramirez and pick his brain during batting practice, saying the two also enjoyed dinner at Ramirez's house in Arizona.