The purveyor of the home run tunnel, and overlooked hero of game 162 may have thrown his last regular season pitch in an Oakland Athletics uniform.
Yes fans, right-hander Evan Scribner appears to be a longshot to make the Athletics opening day roster barring an injury, as it remains likely that the 28-year old will fall victim to a game of numbers after the off-season infusion of bullpen arms. Bereft of minor league options, Scribner would be at the mercy of the waiver wire and subject to the pitching-starved appetite of 29 opposing general managers.
Assuming the A’s carry a seven man bullpen to start the season, it’s safe to project a hierarchy assembly of able-bodied reliever that shake out something like this:
Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Which leaves Scribner, Drew Pomeranz and perhaps Josh Lindblom on the proverbial bubble as we head into dog days of March. The fate of these three men currently lies in the ailing shoulder of Ryan Cook, who has only recently begun to throw off the mound in an attempt to ready himself for opening day.
With manager Bob Melvin exerting a level of caution with the recovering Cook, it’s possible that the All-Star’s delayed start will preclude him from a roster inclusion by March 31st, thereby opening the door for Scribner or one of the aforementioned hurlers.
For Scribner, if this is indeed the end of his Oakland tenure it should not come without a degree of gratitude for his services. For as notable as the penultimate final game of 2012 was for dropped fly balls and a miracle Oakland rally, Evan Scribner’s three innings of shutout pitching in relief of a battered A.J. Griffin provided order in the most dire of game situations and paved the way to an Athletics victory.
Playing a part in the 2013 clincher as well, Scribner struck out Josmil Pinto of the Minnesota Twins with a letter-high fastball to fittingly set off the celebration in Oakland for a second consecutive season. Although the division had been officially clinched by a Texas Ranger defeat innings earlier, it seemed rather appropriate that Scribner be rewarded this time around in the form of a celebratory scrum on the Coliseum pitching mound.