After a week of speculation and an announcement that lasted until nearly game time, it was Drew Pomeranz that got the start in Game 2 of the A’s doubleheader on Wednesday. Pomeranz dazzled in 5 IP, allowing just 2 hits and collecting 5 K’s. A performance like this should get the attention of the Athletics decision-makers.
A’s fans have been clamoring for Drew Pomeranz to be added to the starting rotation in place of either Tommy Milone or Dan Straily, both of whom have been largely underwhelming. Straily has been better than Milone by nearly a full run per 9, and also has a significantly higher K/9 ratio at 7.98 compared to Milone’s 5.20.
Milone and Pomeranz are both lefties, and if the A’s want to keep that same balance in the roatation, that could be another factor that hurts Tommy. The saving grace for Milone may be Straily’s propensity for giving up the long ball. He has allowed 9 HR in 38.1 IP this season.
For argument’s sake, let’s say that his performance today convinced the A’s brass that Drew Pomeranz needs to be added to the rotation immediately. There is one problem with that: he is only fit to throw about 70 pitches right now, where most starting pitchers are able to throw 100+.
This is where Arnold Leon, the pitcher that was called up from Sacramento comes in. Leon, who didn’t see any time in either game on Wednesday, is still fresh and already in Oakland. Pomeranz should be on a bus headed to Sacramento to extend his pitch count immediately. Leon can hold down mop-up duty for a week or two until Drew Pomeranz is ready.
If all goes well, Drew Pomeranz and his 1.45 ERA could be a staple in the Athletics rotation by the last week of May.