A's notes: Colon to start Saturday, no limits on Balfour

A's notes: Colon to start Saturday, no limits on Balfour
April 2, 2013, 5:45 pm
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We think that's the right thing to do based on the workloads last year.
—Bob Melvin on shuffling the starting rotation

Programming note: Coverage of A's-Mariners begins at 6:30 PT with A's Pregame Live on CSN California.

The decision to get Colon on the mound as soon as his suspension is lifted benefits the A's in several different ways.

"For one: You want to get him started sooner than later," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Two: We'd have to find a place for him to pitch.

Colon, 39, had a 3.43 ERA in 24 starts for the A's last season. Sliding the veteran pitcher into the rotation gives the other A's starters two extra days off between starts, since the A's have an off-day on Monday.

"We think that's the right thing to do based on the workloads last year," Melvin said.

Colon will be taking Dan Straily's spot in the starting rotation. Straily will pitch on Friday in Houston.

No limits for Balfour:

The are no limitations on A's closer Grant Balfour, who underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee on February 14. Balfour has yet to pitch on back-to-back days since the procedure, but the A's skipper said he wouldn't hesitate to use him two days in a row if he needed to.

"We'll see early on about three in a row," Melvin said. "Everything was done in spring training to get guys ready for back-to-back days. He was the one guy that didn't, but he is also a guy, as far as the intensity and so fourth, he likes to get out there."

Balfour had 24 saves and 15 holds for the A's in 2012. He allowed just two hits and one run in four spring training appearances.

It's all right:

On Wednesday the A's will take on their first left-handed starting pitcher of the season. That means right-handed hitters like Chris Young and Derek Norris will likely be in the starting lineup. First baseman Nate Freiman and second baseman Scott Sizemore -- both righties -- could also start.

The A's will have used the same lineup in their first two games, something that can be a bit uncharacteristic for the skipper.

"My pen was shaking today," Melvin said jokingly. "You might see a significantly different lineup tomorrow."