If Ryan Cook isn’t ready to pitch come Opening Day, A’s could have three bullpen decisions to make
Don’t look now, but there’s space for new faces in what a month ago was a relatively closed A’s bullpen.
The A’s won’t have Jesse Chavez in the bullpen now that he’s been moved into the rotation. There was a 50-50 chance that Tommy Milone was going to be the long man in the pen, but he’s in the rotation, too.
So what had been a set seven-man staff now has a couple of openings, with at least one of them likely to go to a left-hander. Closer Jim Johnson, right-handed setup men Ryan Cook, Luke Gregerson and Dan Otero are set, as in lefty Sean Doolittle, although even there, Cook might not be ready to start the season in the bullpen because of shoulder issues.
The non-left-handed slot is likely to go to Evan Scribner, who has been on top of his game since the start of spring training and who has put up good numbers in five of his six appearances.
Brandon Moss was playing in the Phillies organization in 2011 when the Phils promoted a struggling hitter from Double-A to Triple-A.
The hitter was Joe Savery, a former first-round draft pick who was giving hitting a try after what Savery himself describes as “three very average years’’ as a pitcher. Savery had once thrown in the mid-90s, but when he was moved, he was hitting about 86-87 on the radar gun.
Change came after the Phillies’ Triple-A team, Lehigh Valley, found itself locked in a mid-season extra inning 2011 game when they ran out of pitchers. In desperation they turned to Savery, their 6-3, 235-pound first baseman/outfielder.
Monday was a good day to be Sean Doolittle.
The left-handed A’s reliever came in having been pain-free for three days in the wake of suffering a right calf strain Tuesday. Then he went on the mound and threw as if he’d never missed any time at all.
He showed good velocity, if not pin-point command.