Said on Monday that one of my initial impressions from the first week of the season was that the A’s bullpen will be nasty this season. And despite the events of Wednesday, I still believe it.
That said, I do think it’s worth watching how new manager Bob Geren uses the bullpen, especially early. Geren took Joe Kennedy out after five innings and 84 pitches, and since that wasn’t addressed in the postgame quotes, I assume it was a case of walking away while you’re ahead. Kennedy had been terrible all spring and didn’t shine in his first regular-season start. So perhaps Geren just felt that after five innings of decent ball, he’d play his best card.
Can’t say I’d argue with that strategy, especially with an off-day awaiting. Still, Huston Street, Justin Duchscherer and Kiko Calero already have been used in half of the A’s 10 games this season, and that’s a pace that could lead to some tired arms at some point.
Not that I’m declaring Bob Geren the second coming of Felipe Alou just yet. Far too early for that. But his heavy use of the bullpen is definitely a trend to watch.