Posted By Jeff Fletcher on March 24, 2009 6:20 pm
Updating here, with some more detailed comments from Billy Beane.
Basically, Beane said the rotation is wide open, with the exception of Dallas Braden’s spot.
“I think (Braden) is throwing well, and we feel good with where he finished last year… how he’s progressed and he seems to have carried it into spring,” Beane said. “Beyond that I think it’s pretty much wide open.”
Beane also said the A’s would like to get Justin Duchscherer into the rotation to start the year, even if he’s still behind the other starters in terms of building up his pitch-count. Duchscherer threw 40 pitches in the bullpen on Monday, and he’s scheduled to make his appearance in a minor-league game on Thursday.
“Let’s face it, if Duke’s healthy you want him in (the rotation),” Beane said. “If he wasn’t ready to go five or six in his first start, we have to decide how long he is able to go. Right now we’re pushing to put him in the rotation even if in abbreviated situation and we’ll build him up from there. If it means he can only go four innings, we’ll take those four innings. We’ll just see.”
Gio Gonzalez is out of the competition because he’s hurt, and Josh Outman is in (he’s starting tonight, thought not faring so well early). So it’s Outman, Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill, Edgar Gonzalez, Dana Eveland and Sean Gallagher vying for those final three or four spots (depending on Duchscherer).
Beane also shot down the notion of getting another starter from outside the organization.
“A lot of clubs are looking for fourth and fifth starters,” Beane said. “The chances of coming up with one from another organization isn’t very good.”
On the Eric Chavez front, Chavez played four innings of defense today in a minor league game, his first defensive action of the spring in a game. He apparently had no problems and told manager Bob Geren he felt great. Geren said Chavez might make his game debut on Friday night, even though he’s not ready to hit. Geren said he’d bat Chavez ninth, then either remove him or have him take pitches when he turn came up in the order.