PHOENIX -- Closer Andrew Bailey said Tuesday that his surgically repaired right elbow feels good and that he's confident he'll be ready for opening day.

Bailey was shut down in September to have three bone chips and three bone spurs removed. He and the A's labeled it a precautionary procedure, but when a two-time All-Star closer has any type of elbow surgery, it raises concern.

A's manager Bob Geren expressed no doubt Bailey would be ready for April 1 against the Seattle Mariners after Bailey threw his first bullpen session Monday since his surgery.

New A's pitching coach Ron Romanick has Bailey on a conservative throwing program, and Bailey said he might miss the first week of exhibitions to be safe.

His condition was a bright spot for the A's as they prepare to hold their first official workout of 2011 on Wednesday morning.

Bailey drew praise from Geren for another aspect of his physical state. He shed 15 pounds over the winter, dropping to 235.

"It's all about eating right and maintaining it," Bailey said. "If I can stick around 235 for the season, that's where I want to be."

  • Outfielder Ryan Sweeney appears out of a starting job after the A's traded for David DeJesus and Josh Willingham. But Sweeney took the news in stride. "I've never really been a fourth outfielder or anything," Sweeney said. "But whatever they want me to do, I'll do. I kind of feel a little bit of motivation to go out there and work harder, to try to be in the starting lineup every day." Sweeney missed the final 2½ months of last season after undergoing right knee surgery to relieve tendinitis but said he has no restrictions.


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  • Geren said shortstop Cliff Pennington (left shoulder) might be held out of the first week of exhibitions but considers Pennington on target for opening day. "... Utility man Adam Rosales, recovering from right foot surgery, is using crutches and wearing a soft boot. He's expected to miss the start of the season. "... Bailey wasn't the only player looking slimmer. Left-hander Brett Anderson has lost 10 pounds. "I'm on the CC (Sabathia) plan," he said. "He lost 30 pounds. I only lost 10."