It will be 24 days between starts for Drew Pomeranz when he pitches for the A’s Saturday against the Phillies and 18 days since he’s pitched in any game at all.
That’s far from optimum in a profession that prizes regular work. But Pomeranz, who serves as the A’s extra starter when he’s not pitching in long relief, has taken steps to make sure he will take his A Game out against Philadelphia.
He threw 40 pitches in a simulated game Tuesday, facing a number of the A’s hitters in a workout he said “I’ll think of as a start.’’
“it was good to get a bunch of the guys out there and pitch to them,’’ he said. “you face hitters, you treat it as a real game and get back into the habit of starting
That being the case, his next start will be five days later, and “I’ll be ready,’’ he said.
Manager Bob Melvin seems to have little doubt about that.
“It’s an acquired taste to pitch out of the bullpen then go into the rotation knowing you’re expected to throw a certain amount of pitches,’’ Melvin said. “He’s done it numerous times for us this year and has had success doing it.
“So if there’s anybody that you feel confident in in that type of role, it’s him.’’
Pomeranz came out of the bullpen in May to make back-to-back starts of five innings against the Red Sox and the White Sox, not allowing a run in either start. On Aug. 26 he came up from Triple-A Sacramento and contributed 5.1 innings allowing one run, not earned.
He’s faced the Phillies twice while pitching for the Colorado Rockies, both starts and both in 2012. He pitched well in Philadelphia (four innings, one run), but he got knocked around some in Colorado, five innings, five runs.
But as he points out, it’s a little easier to pitch in Oakland than in the light air of Denver.