Pomeranz could start for A’s, but probably not Wednesday

Drew Pomeranz may have a future as a starter with A's

Drew Pomeranz may have a future as a starter with A’s

Drew Pomeranz threw 56 pitches on Friday, so he was judged not rested enough to be able to pitch in relief for the A’s Sunday.

The bigger question is whether the left-hander might be a consideration for the doubleheader the A’s have coming up on Wednesday against Seattle, the makeup for the rainout the first Friday of the season.

Technically, the A’s aren’t ruling anything out.

But in a practical sense, Pomeranz is unlikely to get the call because his arm hasn’t been stretched out. A starter his expected to need to throw in the neighborhood of 75 pitches at a minimum, and Pomeranz has only been over 40 pitches twice this year, including a 41-pitch effort on April 15.

So Josh Lindblom and Arnold Leon, both of whom had their starts adjusted at Triple-A Sacramento to make them available for Wednesday, remain the competitors for the job. The A’s had a double-header on April 2, and Lindblom got the call. He allowed two runs in 4.2 innings and left with the lead, but the bullpen blew up in the ninth.

Pomeranz does remain a viable option for starting at some point this season, however.

“He’s a guy who has always been a starter, and we liked what we saw of him this spring,’’ manager Bob Melvin said. “What we’ve seen early this season suggests he would have success, whether that’s in the long role in the bullpen or starter. We got him to a pitch count (56) that would suggest if dire need came up. He would be one of the guys we would look at.’’

Pomeranz, acquired from the A’s during the off-season in the trade that sent Oakland’s 2013 opening day starter Brett Anderson to Colorado, made 34 appearances for the Rockies over the previous three seasons. Of those, 30 were starts.

He came to the A’s with a 4-14 record and 5.20 ERA. Pitching only out of the bullpen for Oakland, he’s 1-1 with a 1.98 ERA. Melvin and his troupe have to think long-term, and they can see him moving back to starting if they can get his arm stretched out.

“I can only go on what I’ve seen, and what we’ve seen is a guy with great stuff,’’ the manager said. “He’s got a plus fastball. He’s got a breaking ball that’s very tough to track. He is a power guy and he’s showed us since he’s been here that he can get right-handers out too.

“So incorporating his changeup a little more if he was, indeed, in the starting role is something we’d look to do. Everything he’s done for us right now has been really good.’’

John Hickey

A longtime baseball writer three years into in his second go-round covering to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.