Pomeranz close to rehab assignment, but then what?

Pomeranz close to rehab assignment, but then what?
July 9, 2014, 7:15 pm
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Drew Pomeranz punched a chair after his start on June 16 against the Rangers, breaking his non-pitching hand. (USATSI)

SAN FRANCISCO – Drew Pomeranz is getting closer and closer to going out on a rehab assignment. The question is where, or if, the left-hander might fit in with the A’s when he returns from a fractured right hand.

Pomeranz recently was cleared to start catching the ball with his glove hand, and he did pitchers’ fielding drills before Wednesday night’s game against the Giants. The fact that he’s been able to continue throwing even as his non-throwing hand heals means he should be just a few days away from a rehab assignment.

After that?

A’s manager Bob Melvin acknowledged that the bullpen is an option for Pomeranz. He began this season as an effective long reliever before entering the rotation in May when Dan Straily was sent to Triple-A Sacramento. Pomeranz was acquitting himself well in the rotation until he grew frustrated after a poor start against Texas on June 16 and punched a wooden chair, breaking his non-pitching hand.

“Yeah, (the bullpen is) where he started out,”Melvin said. “We’re pretty filled up right now as far as starters.”

The A’s currently feature a rotation of Jason Hammel – making his A’s debut Wednesday night – Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, Jeff Samardzija and Jesse Chavez. The starting staff has been fantastic of late, turning in six consecutive games of six-plus innings and one run allowed or fewer.