OAKLAND — The A’s might utilize a six-man rotation through the remaining three-plus weeks of the season depending on how their health plays out.
The upcoming rotation will feature Daniel Mengden going in Friday’s series opener against Seattle, followed by Kendall Graveman, Raul Alcantara and then Ross Detwiler in Monday’s road trip opener against the Royals. Presumably, Jharel Cotton — who makes his major league debut Wednesday afternoon against the Angels — will be the fifth member of that group.
A’s manager Bob Melvin mentioned that Sean Manaea threw an extended bullpen session Wednesday and will throw another one in a couple days. Melvin is hopeful Manaea can rejoin the rotation on the upcoming seven-game road trip through Kansas City and Texas. And if that happens, the A’s could go to a six-man rotation, which would limit innings and ease the workload on everybody in the home stretch here.
“We’ll see how we get there,” Melvin said. “I know we’ve had some troubles. We probably envisioned having one right now, but we’ve had some injuries. Knock on wood, we have everybody healthy and see how we take that.”
The above mentioned rotation would have Zach Neal, who pitched very well in Tuesday night’s start, returning to the bullpen.
Melvin had lots of praise for rookie second baseman Joey Wendle after a Tuesday win in which Wendle made several nice defensive plays and came through with a two-run go-ahead single in the eighth inning.
“It’s one of those games where you get all the plays (at second),” Melvin said. “You’re always looking for a younger guy to have one of those games, and he made them all and showed a lot of range. We haven’t seen that kind of range really since Eric Sogard. This guy can go certainly to his left, I think one play he went four or five steps to his left and made a play, and went up the middle for a couple more. He got a big hit, which certainly makes you relax a little bit, makes you feel like you belong. Really big game for him yesterday.”
Josh Reddick may be wearing Dodger Blue, but he still keeps in touch with his old skipper. Melvin says he still gets texts from Reddick and is always amused by the right fielder’s form of communication.
“It’s little videos now. He gets his point across by wrestling videos,” the manager said. “I get quite a few of those from him, so he’s taken texting to a new level. And he’ll send me some ones that he thinks I should respond with.”