OAKLAND –- Brad Mills won’t take long to get acclimated to his new A’s teammates.
The left-hander, acquired Tuesday from Milwaukee, will start Friday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox, with Jesse Chavez being pushed back a day in the rotation to Saturday.
It comes as no surprise that Mills got the call over Triple-A starters Dan Straily, Arnold Leon and Josh Lindblom. A’s manager Bob Melvin had mentioned Mills as a strong candidate Tuesday night, but the team wanted to wait until Mills got into town Thursday and met with team officials. Mills got word about the trade Tuesday, shortly after the Brewers’ Triple-A club had taken a Nashville-to-Las Vegas flight.
“The manager called and said ‘Hey man, you’re going to the big leagues,’” said Mills, 29. “Then he threw in, ‘With the A’s.’ And it was like, one of those scenarios you never dreamed about.”
The A’s acquired Mills from the Brewers for just $1, a type of transaction that isn’t unheard of but has generated plenty of talk since Tuesday. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Mills had a clause in his contract that called for Milwaukee to receive zero compensation if he was assigned to another team’s active 25-man roster. “Whatever had to be done to get me over here, I’m all for it,” Mills said. “If someone wants to crack a joke or two, it doesn’t bother me.”
The A’s need another starter with Drew Pomeranz being placed on the disabled list Tuesday with a fractured right hand after he punched a chair in frustration after his last start.
Mills had spent the entire the season at Triple-A and had posted a 1.56 ERA in 14 appearances (12 starts).
Why push Chavez back? Melvin said he’ll look to get Chavez more rest as the season progresses, so giving him an extra day had appeal. Plus, Mills last pitched Saturday, and the A’s don’t want him going with more than five days’ rest between his starts.
“This will keep him on schedule,” Melvin said.
In other news, outfielder Josh Reddick went 1-for-3 Wednesday in his first rehab game with Sacramento against Round Rock. Reddick also tested his hypertextended right knee by going first to third while running the bases on one play. In the same game, reliever Eric O’Flaherty needed just eight pitches to complete a scoreless inning. Melvin says there is still no set timetable for O’Flaherty to rejoin team in his comeback from Tommy John surgery.
Melvin likened his comeback process to that of a pitcher needing a full spring training period to get ready.