The spotlight in tomorrow’s game will be on the A’s rotation, with Vin Mazzaro making his big league debut. But tonight’s loss showed how much the A’s bullpen is a concern these days. Santiago Casilla struggled again, giving up Jim Thome’s three-run HR that broke a 2-2 tie, and we’re starting to see the same pattern we saw last year. Casilla seems to struggle to regain his form once he comes back from an injury.
I think Sunday’s game in Texas showed how little faith Bob Geren has in his late-inning relievers other than Andrew Bailey. He brought in Bailey with one out in the eighth, even though the situation called for a ground-ball specialist such as Brad Ziegler. Ziegler hasn’t been in top form lately, and neither have Casilla or Russ Springer. But I have to say, I’m not a fan of bringing in Bailey, who’s obviously the closer, during the eighth inning so often. The A’s need to find a way to save him for the ninth. He’s got the build of a workhorse kind of pitcher, but no reliever can pitch one-plus innings on a regular basis and remain fresh.
Funny how things change. Remember when the A’s bullpen was the best in the majors???