By Joe Stiglich
Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 at 9:36 am in Spring Training.
A’s ace Justin Duchscherer will not throw for the next week because of his elbow soreness, and manager Bob Geren acknowledged that it’s doubtful Duchscherer will take the ball Opening Day against the Angels because he won’t be ready. “His Opening Day start is definitely in jeopardy,” Geren said in his morning media session.
Duchscherer had an MRI taken Monday with Dr. Doug Freedberg, but no structural damage was found. Duchscherer still wants a second opinion, and the plan is to send his images to Dr. Lewis Yocum in Southern California to examine.
When I talked to Duchscherer this morning, more than anything he sounded uneasy about not knowing the extent of his injury. The A’s and Freedberg think it’s an inflammation problem, Duchscherer said, and the hope is that rest will help calm his elbow down. “Every day I’ve thrown it hurts,” Duchscherer said, adding that he feels the discomfort when he cranks it up to around 80 percent intensity.
Asked if he still hoped to pitch Opening Day, Duchscherer said: “Of course I do. (But) honestly, I don’t know what’s going on with my elbow.”
What’s this mean for the A’s rotation? Sean Gallagher, Dana Eveland and Dallas Braden are the only three healthy pitchers who seem locked into spots. The A’s will likely need to choose two starters from a pool that includes Edgar Gonzalez, Gio Gonzalez, Josh Outman and Jerome Williams. And the possibility of throwing one of their stud prospects — Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill or Vin Mazzaro — into the rotation isn’t quite so far-fetched now. Geren has raved about all three at one point or another.
The A’s could also look to sign someone. Remember, ex-Athletic Mark Mulder is hoping to catch on with a team at some point …
–Eric Chavez will DH today against the White Sox, but Geren said Mark Ellis might relieve him and get a couple at-bats. If both players are ready tomorrow, Geren would like to DH one in a split-squad game against the Giants, and the other in a split-squad game against South Africa.