Drew Pomeranz may not make the A’s pitching staff to start the season.
But it’s no stretch to say that he could do so, especially after his last two games, five innings of relief in which he’s struck out eight and allowed one hit. Three scoreless innings Wednesday gave him the win in the A’s 13-3 blowout of the Indians in Goodyear, Ariz.
And it’s his stretch that he credits with helping him get command of his 95-mph fastball and breaking pitches, all of which have looked dynamic in the last few days.
“I’m just here trying to pitch well,’’ Pomeranz said. “Lots of strikes.’’
He’s done that, opening eyes with both his fastball and his breaking pitches, all of which have been basically unhittable the last few days.
He came to the A’s as the big prize in the trade of left-handed starter Brett Anderson to the Rockies over the winter. When the A’s made the deal they were perhaps thinking of future potential, but Pomeranz’s time could be closer than you’d think.
“I wanted to simplify things for myself,’’ he said in explaining why he now throws exclusively from the stretch rather than going through a full windup.
“I did it at the end of last year (with the Rockies) and it seemed to work for me,’’ Pomeranz said. “And I’ve found that the simpler I can make it, the easier it is to pitch.’’
Pomeranz is making decision making tough on manager Bob Melvin, who’d’ been thinking that Pomeranz might be a good fit as the first starter recalled from Triple-A Sacramento. Now, the A’s have to consider if Pomeranz is instead the A’s best fit as the long man in the bullpen and spot starter.
“As long as he’s throwing the ball over the plate,’’ the manager said, “he’ll be fine.’’
The manager was impressed that Pomeranz went two innings the last time out and three innings this time. And the fact that he’s been dominating hasn’t hurt.