At the time of this writing, Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin has yet to make a decision about Wednesday’s Game 2 starter. Earlier in the day, Susan Slusser of the SF Chronicle wrote that the Game 2 starter may depend on how Tuesday night’s game went.
Potential starter, Drew Pomeranz did not pitch in the 8-3 loss on Tuesday. Following the game on A’s Post Game Live, Melvin again said he would wait until Tuesday to make an official announcement.
While most fans (myself included) are clamoring for Pomeranz to join the rotation, let’s make the argument for Arnold Leon getting the spot-start.
Leon has already joined the big league team as the extra player they get for playing a doubleheader. He’s going to pitch, but in what capacity? It would make sense for the A’s to take advantage of the extra player by starting him, and taxing the bullpen less. Yes, the bullpen could also be saved if Drew Pomeranz gets the ball to start Game 2, but he isn’t stretched out as a starter yet. Leon is. Pomeranz can most likely throw about 70 pitches. At 15 pitches/inning, he’s looking at a little over 4 innings.
Leon is making his ML debut, which means there isn’t necessarily a book on him in the majors. It seems as though a decent amount of pitchers making their debut cruise through the first time through a lineup. If he sits the Mariners down in order, that’s 3 IP right there. If he can make it through 5, he’s done his job.
Let’s talk about Game 1 for a second. What do we really expect from Dan Straily? 4 IP? 5? The bullpen is going to get used in that game. So my proposal is this: Have Pomeranz be the first guy out of the ‘pen in both games. It will save the bullpen for the Nationals series, and the A’s could use the 4 innings he can give them more effectively, 2 at a time.
Pomeranz has been solid in relief this season. Why not get greedy and see if he can potentially keep 2 games close instead of just 1?
Bob Melvin may just be showing some gamesmanship by not announcing a starter to keep Seattle on their heels. He could also be weighing all of his options, and this one is viable. If Daniel Bryan can win two matches at Wrestlemania to finally obtain the Championship, Drew Pomeranz can pitch 4 innings split between 2 games, and quite possibly gain a victory in each.