For those who have been calling for the debut of hotshot pitching prospect Gio Gonzalez, your wish is being granted. Bob Geren said before tonight’s game that Gonzalez will be promoted to start tomorrow night in Toronto, filling the gap in the rotation left by Dana Eveland’s departure. It normally would be Justin Duchscherer’s turn, but the A’s are bumping him back a day to give him a bit more rest. This also keeps Gonzalez, a lefty, on his regular four days’ rest.
Because the A’s rotation has been very strong (until recently) this season, the A’s have been able to stash Gonzalez away at Triple-A and let him develop. He’s had some ups and downs this season but he’s coming off eight shutout innings in his last start, so it’s probably smart to grab him when the good vibes are rolling. You’ll remember that Baseball America immediately ranked Gonzalez, 22, as the A’s top pitching prospect when he came over from the White Sox in the Nick Swisher deal.
The best part of this story: Gonzalez didn’t have his passport with him in Sacramento when he got the news last night. So he arranged to have a friend meet him in Chicago (Gonzalez is from the Miami area) and do a passport exchange before he flew out to Toronto. He’s scheduled to arrive a bit later tonight.
The A’s won’t announce a corresponding roster move until tomorrow, but they’ll also have to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for him. They can do that by placing Eric Chavez on the 60-day disabled list if they wish.
There’s also still a chance that Dan Meyer gets a start somewhere in the coming days. Sean Gallagher is scheduled to go Saturday, but Geren hinted that Gallagher’s start might get pushed back a bit. However it shakes out, Duchscherer — who is 30 and in just his fifth full big league season — must feel like an old man in this rotation, wouldn’t you say?