PHOENIX -- The A's stole 122 bases last year and have finished in the top half of A.L. teams in steals every year since 2009.

So when Cactus League games start Saturday, manager Bob Melvin will let most of the faster members of his crew run. He wants to see how newcomers such as Jed Lowrie and Hiroyuki Nakajima get jumps and how they will fit into the mix.

Lowrie doesn't have a history as a base thief, but Nakajima had 20 or more steals in three of his last five seasons. Also to be added to the mix is outfielder Chris Young, whom Melvin knows from their time together with the Diamondbacks and has 20-plus steals in three of the last six seasons.

"We're going to look to run," Melvin said. "It's a misconception that we won't. We ran a lot early last year when we were struggling, then backed off a little when we started scoring a lot more, but it's something we want to do.

"We'll give guys the 'go' sign this spring and see what happens."

  • His name came up Tuesday in connection with the expanding investigation into Miami-based Biogenesis, but A's pitcher Jordan Norberto decided against addressing the matter Wednesday morning.

    Norberto said he didn't want to talk about the situation and that he was focused on baseball.


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    Norberto was among five players named Tuesday in connection to Biogenesis and its boss, Tony Bosch. They included Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera, Astros outfielder Fernando Martinez and former A's pitcher Fautino De Los Santos, who is now with the Padres.

    Bosch is alleged to have supplied performance-enhancing drugs to a number of big league players, including Alex Rodriguez and former Giant Melky Cabrera, now with the Blue Jays.

    Pitcher Bartolo Colon of the A's, who is in the midst of a 50-day suspension after a positive test for testosterone, also has been linked by published reports to Biogenesis.

  • Jesse Chavez, Travis Blackley and Andrew Werner will get the first three starts of the Cactus League for the A's.

    Most of the big names in the A's pitching arsenal are being held back a bit this spring because of the heavy workload they went through last year.

    Blackley had 15 starts last year but is looked at as a long shot for the rotation. He could be a long reliever and emergency starter. He is likely to make the staff.

    Chavez, who had four appearances with Oakland last year, and Werner, who pitched briefly for the Padres last season before being picked up by the A's in the Tyson Ross trade in November, are long shots to make the staff.

  • After holding players in the clubhouse for about an hour while it rained, the A's gave up on having a full workout and dismissed all but a handful of pitchers and catchers Wednesday morning.

    Those pitchers who remained, including lefty Garrett Olson, were able to throw off covered mounds at the minor league complex at Papago Park. Olson, a lefty, had been held out of action because of a sore right hamstring.

  • Closer Grant Balfour added to his workout again Wednesday, running backward at a steep incline on the treadmill. He is pushing himself to get back on the mound quickly after having arthroscopic surgery to remove a bit of meniscus from his right knee.

  • The A's signed a multiple-year agreement with Sacramento's KHTK-1140 to broadcast games. The station's reach includes eastern Contra Costa and Alameda counties.