Programming note: For all of the latest A’s news from spring training watch SportsNet Central tonight at 6:00, 10:30 and midnight on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
PHOENIX – Jesse Chavez, Josh Lindblom and Evan Scribner will pitch in the A’s exhibition opener Wednesday against the Giants, Oakland manager Bob Melvin said Sunday.
Tommy Milone will start Thursday’s exhibition home opener against the Milwaukee Brewers, with Jarrod Parker going Friday at home against the Giants.
Starting Friday would not line up Parker to start the March 31 regular-season opener, based on an every-fifth-day schedule, but that does not preclude him from getting the nod. It’s early in the spring, and pitching schedules often get shuffled around to eventually line up a regular-season rotation.
Wednesday’s pitching slate of Chavez, Lindblom and Scribner features a trio of candidates competing for a spot at the back of the bullpen, though Lindblom could also begin the season as a starter at Triple-A.
Chavez and Scribner are well-known quantities to the A’s. Both have contributed in the major league bullpen over the past two seasons, both are right-handed and both are well-suited to serve a potential long relief role. Both pitchers also happen to be out of minor league options, which means if the A’s try to send them to the minors they first must be exposed to waivers.
Melvin acknowledged that making a decision between the two – if it indeed came down to those two specifically for a bullpen spot – would be tough.
“They’ve both had big impacts here, and you know that we’re only gonna start with ‘X’ amount of pitchers,” Melvin said. “But really, they have to understand too, and they do, that we go through an awful lot of guys. We don’t stick with 25 guys over the course of the season, and guys that have come up in the middle of the season have been very impactful.”
Milone, who has won 25 games for the A’s over the past two seasons, is fighting for a starting rotation spot.