0

Vin Mazzaro sent down, reliever Henry Rodriguez called up

Perfect day for baseball at the Coliseum, as the A’s and Rangers get ready to play their series finale.

On to the A’s news from the morning…

–Vin Mazzaro was sent down after last night’s shaky outing and hard-throwing reliever Henry Rodriguez was called up. With days off Thursday and Monday, manager Bob Geren said the team can afford to go with a four-man rotation and eight-man bullpen for the time being. “Being that we have a couple off-days in the near future, we can go with a four-man rotation, hoping (Justin) Duchscherer can come back and fill in on the back end of that,” Geren said. As I write this, Duchscherer is supposed to be getting a cortisone shot in his left hip to help relieve inflammation. The coming days should determine whether he’ll need to join the DL.

I like the promotion of Rodriguez, who made his big league debut last September and touches 100 mph with his fastball. This bullpen needs another power arm besides Andrew Bailey. The return of Michael Wuertz helps, but the A’s need another guy who can come in and get a strikeout with runners on base. Rodriguez’s issue always has been shaky command, but word is he was spotting his fastball very well with Triple-A Sacramento. He didn’t allow an earned run in eight appearances and had 14 strikeouts and just three walks in 9 1/3 innings. During spring training, he was getting some strikeouts with his breaking ball too. If he can add a consistent second pitch to complement that fastball, this guy can be really effective.

Today’s lineups:

A’s: Pennington SS; Barton 1B; Sweeney RF; Kouzmanoff 3B; Chavez DH; Rosales 2B; Patterson LF; Powell C; Davis CF; Cahill RHP.

Rangers: Andrus SS; Young 3B; Hamilton LF; Guerrero DH; Kinsler 2B; Murphy RF; Smoak 1B; Ramirez C; Borbon CF; Lewis RHP.

Joe Stiglich