Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
With the Oakland Athletics set to play a doubleheader on Wednesday, the A’s are allowed to bring up an extra person from the minors to help with the extra workload. Undoubtedly, this player is going to be a pitcher to keep the A’s rotation on normal rest. There are 3 options the A’s have to start the second game on Wednesday.
The first is the fan’s choice, Drew Pomeranz. The lefty has pitched effectively this season out of the bullpen, to the tune of a 1.98 ERA. His effectiveness is much like the top 3 starters, which is also leading to the hope that Pomeranz will supplant either Dan Straily or Tommy Milone with their 5.01 and 5.86 ERAs in the rotation before long.
If Bob Melvin and the A’s brass decide to go with Pomeranz on Wednesday, look for him to be added to the rotation by June 1 if he performs well. The one downside to Pomeranz pitching Wednesday is that he isn’t stretched out as a starter, meaning he would be on a pitch limit somewhere close to 70. If he throws a lot of pitches early, then the bullpen will get worked hard. The deciding factor on whether or not Pomeranz starts may be how much the bullpen works in the two games leading up to Wednesday.
A second option for the Athletics is to call upon Josh Lindblom, who has already made a spot-start this season in the same situation. In that start he gave the A’s what they needed: 4.2 innings, and only 2 runs allowed. The problem with Lindblom comes with how he has pitched in the minors since that start in Oakland. He is currently boasting a 6.53 ERA for Sacramento and has allowed 3 runs or more in every start. He has been struggling for the past month, but he is still being considered as an option.
The final option is Arnold Leon. The 25 year old righty is currently performing better than his Sacramento teammate, but still has some worrisome stats. His ERA sits at 4.34, but that isn’t what’s troubling. His WHIP is at 1.517. That is a combination of bending and breaking. Leon is letting too many men on base, and once every other inning the opposition scores on him (Hence the 4.34 ERA).
Of the two pitchers in Sacramento, Leon may be the better at this point. Both are on regular rest, so either is an option.
Ideally, the Athletics will choose Drew Pomeranz for his first start in the green and gold. There are other forces at work however. As mentioned before, the Athletics may need to utilize him before Wednesday.
Next weekend the Washington Nationals come to town, and Milone is set to open that series. Pomeranz usually gets some work when Milone or Straily starts. If Pomeranz starts Wednesday, he would be unavailable for Friday’s game, putting the bullpen at the risk of being overworked without an off day until Thursday, May 15. 3 of the 6 games in that span are slated to be started by Straily or Milone.
If Pomeranz gets the nod for Wednesday, look for him to join the rotation on the next turn or shortly thereafter.