Here’s the latest on a windy Sunday morning at Phoenix Muni …
–The uncertainty w/the A’s bullpen continues as setup man Michael Wuertz was scratched today because of his balky right shoulder. Wuertz will get examined by Dr. Doug Freedberg here in Phoenix, and there’s no set date for his return. Asked if he was concerned Wuertz might miss the start of the season, manager Bob Geren responded, “It’s fair to say that.”
So it’s even more important for the A’s that closer Andrew Bailey and Craig Breslow come back healthy from their elbow problems. Both are scheduled to throw tomorrow against the Seattle Mariners. Geren said Bailey should get three more exhibition appearances, which would give him seven spring appearances total, and have him ready. That depends on how Bailey responds to tomorrow’s outing.
Other relievers now come into play if Wuertz can’t go. One of them is newly acquired Edwar Ramirez. It sounds as if Geren considers him a real possibility for the bullpen. Ramirez walked in a run yesterday after relieving Justin Duchscherer but looked better in his second inning. He’s appeared in just three games this spring after being traded twice.
Wuertz’s injury could mean that lefties Jerry Blevins and Brad Kilby both start the season in the bullpen. Jason Jennings, who’s expected to return to the team tomorrow after being away for personal reasons, could also be an important option. Henry Rodriguez? He’s getting another appearance today, but I’m not sure the A’s are sold on him as being ready for the Opening Day roster.
The bullpen picture will become clearer in the next couple days, when we know more about Wuertz’s condition …
Here’s today’s lineup against the Rockies: