Tag:Chad Gaudin
Posted on: March 28, 2010 7:09 pm

A's juggle pitching as spring days dwindle

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- The one thing Oakland figured was its best bet this spring was its pitching, and now look.

Justin Duchscherer surrendered 11 runs (eight earned) on nine hits in just three-plus innings in a Cactus League game against Kansas City on Saturday.

Ben Sheets was torched for 10 runs without even recording an out three outings ago.

Concern? Not so much. Both pitchers, coming back from a year layoff, continue to progress physically.

But what is a concern -- at least for the next 24 hours or so for manager Bob Geren -- is the shape of the A's bullpen. Which no doubt is why they signed veteran swingman Chad Gaudin -- who can start or relieve -- on Sunday.

Right-hander Michael Wuertz, one of the most underrated set-up men in the game last summer, was scratched from Sunday's scheduled Cactus League appearance against Colorado with a "tender" shoulder.

Meantime, closer Andrew Bailey and lefty reliever Craig Breslow each of whom has been stricken with elbow tendinitis and has missed the past several days, are slotted to return to the mound Monday against Seattle.

That's why Geren says his concern right now is over the next 24 hours. If Bailey and Breslow pass their tests Monday, it will be a boost as the A's continue to prepare for their April 5 opener against the Mariners.

As for Wuertz, whose 102 strikeouts in 2009 led AL relievers, that will not be decided over the next 24 hours. Wuertz, who appeared in 74 games last summer, well could open the season on the disabled list at this point.

All this, and it's fortunate Sheets and Duchscherer are in such good shape, right?

Duchscherer, the latest of the duo to get hammered, shrugged it off Sunday.

"Numbers-wise, you don't like that, but physically I felt good and that's more important than anything," said Duchscherer. "My fastball was 83-84 early, and that's five miles off from normal. And I gave up a couple of hits in counts where normally I wouldn't throw fastballs."

Duchscherer, who suffered from elbow pain and then was diagnosed with clinical depression in 2009, causing him to miss the entire season, was happy with the fact that he threw 86 pitches on Saturday and then felt better Sunday than he did following his previous outing.

Sheets, meantime, didn't throw a pitch in '09 following elbow surgery. He's already been named by Geren as Oakland's Opening Day starter -- though a buzz swept through the baseball land following his 10-run appearance a couple of weeks ago with folks wondering if he was hurt again.

"Aw, that just means a lot of people are rooting for me," Sheets said Sunday. "A lot of people care."

Sheets said he historically has struggled in the spring because he has a hard time focusing. But, as is the case with Duchscherer, he's encouraged that he feels good physically.

"There are some days that are definitely better than others," Sheets said. "I'm trying to get my fastball going. If I can get the right downhill tilt, and locate and throw strikes. ...

"I think I'm going to be OK if I can locate my heater. I think I'm going to get better throughout the year."

So, too, do the A's think that -- about Sheets, about Duchscherer, about their bullpen and about themselves.

Sunblock Day: Little cool in the morning, but gorgeous, 70-some degree day in the desert Sunday.

Likes: Eric Chavez, Oakland's six-time Gold Glove-winning third baseman, is loving his switch to first base this spring. So far, so good with both his back and shoulder. Chavez and the A's are optimistic that he can stay in the lineup at first this year. Chavez says he has only cut loose with about six throws this spring, saving his shoulder as best he can until the regular season. ... There are always silver linings, and here is Ben Sheets' after missing the 2009 season: "It was a long year, but it was a fulfilling year as a dad, being around my kids for the whole summer." Sheets has two boys: Seaver, 7, and Miller, 3. And yes, they're named after Hall of Famer Tom Seaver and after Miller Park in Milwaukee, where Sheets worked for so long. ... Love Bill Raftery as a college hoops announcer. ... Those Southwest Airlines commercials advertising their bags flying free. The one with the men and the older lady on the plane is annoying, but the rest are very clever. ... Gran Torino, the outstanding Clint Eastwood flick, on HBO late the other night in my hotel room. ... Havana Café in Phoenix.

Dislikes: What are we going to do this week with no NCAA games until Saturday? What an incredible, incredible tournament.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Top coat, top hat
"I don't worry cuz my wallet's fat
"Black shades, white gloves
"Lookin' sharp, and lookin' for love
"They come runnin' just as fast as they can
"Cuz every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man"

-- ZZ Top, Sharp-Dressed Man

Posted on: October 27, 2009 9:32 pm
Edited on: October 27, 2009 9:35 pm

Phillies add Brett Myers to World Series roster

NEW YORK -- Looking for any edge in what figures to be a classic and closely contested World Series, the Phillies on Tuesday made one roster change, activating pitcher Brett Myers and dropping infielder Miguel Cairo.

Myers, a hard-throwing righty, made one appearance against Colorado in the NL Division Series, but the Phillies did not include him on their NL Championship Series roster against the Dodgers. During his stint against the Rockies, two-third of an inning, he walked two batters.

"We felt like we needed another pitcher because the moves that we've been making in situations, we ran through five pitchers in one inning against the Dodgers," manager Charlie Manuel said. "And I feel like if those things happen again, we always need pitching."

Not to mention the fact that the Yankees scored the most runs in the majors this year.

"I feel like with Myers' stuff and the fact that he's in better shape and he's well and ready to pitch," Manuel said. "I feel like his talent actually belongs on our staff."

Myers went 4-3 with a 4.84 ERA for the Phillies during an injury-plagued season. He worked in only 18 games, starting 10. He began the season in the rotation but suffered a torn labrum in his hip and had surgery on June 4. He worked out of the bullpen when he returned in September.

Much of the western part of the country might not care, but this Yankees-Phillies World Series comes with terrific passion in the host cities. ... Yankees owner George Steinbrenner scheduled to attend Game 1. ... Jorge Posada on Jimmy Rollins' prediction that the Phillies will win in five games: "He's been Nostradamus, that's what I've heard." ... Great tabloid headlines today. New York Post: Gotham Trembles: The Frillies are coming to town! Complete with a weird cover photo mash-up of Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino from the waist up, with a woman's lower half, wearing a skirt. And the Daily News writes: Pity Silly-delphia for thinking they can beat N.Y. ... Il Vagabondo on East 62nd in New York.

Dislikes: The Yankees can't actually allow Chad Gaudin anywhere near a World Series start, can they? ... Game 1 on Oct. 28. What a joke. ... The hoopla surrounding Michael Jackson's This Is It. I really hope it is.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Born into Nixon, I was raised in hell
"A welfare child where the teamsters dwelled
"The last one born and the first one to run
"My town was blind from the refinery sun
"My generation is zero
"I never made it as a working class hero"

-- Green Day, 21st Century Breakdown


Posted on: October 27, 2009 5:15 pm

Yanks go Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte and TBD

NEW YORK -- There seems to be little doubt that the Yankees will hand the ball to CC Sabathia for Games 1, 4 and 7 in the World Series against Philadelphia, with his latter two starts each coming on short (three days') rest.

After that is where the questions begin.

Namely, would the Yankees deem A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte each capable of starting on short rest (Burnett in Game 5, Pettitte in Game 6) and go with a three-man rotation?

Or will they decide that's a bad risk and take a different kind of chance, starting Chad Gaudin in Game 5 even though his last start came nearly a month ago, back on Sept. 28?

On a rainy and chilly Tuesday at Yankee Stadium, New York manager Joe Girardi only committed to the first three games of his first World Series as a skipper. Girardi says Burnett (Game 2) and Pettitte (Game 3) will follow Sabathia.

As for Game 4, Girardi said, "You look at the guys that you have. Chad is probably built up more than anyone. You look at where you're at and you make decisions as you go. You try to plan it out that it's going to work the way you want it to. But sometimes, as we saw in the last series, that doesn't always happen. So you have to be flexible, but you make plans."

Gaudin worked a simulated game following the Yankees workout on Tuesday. Dave Eiland, the Yankees' pitching coach, said the club intended to "stretch him out as best we can, weather permitting." The Yankees were hoping to extend Gaudin to the 70- to 80-pitch range.

Eiland said that if the Yankees do opt to start Gaudin, expecting him to throw somewhere between 85 and 90 pitches is reasonable.

"If we start him and say we want 120, 125 pitches, that's a stretch," Eiland said.

Gaudin, who went 6-10 with a 4.64 ERA in 2009 with the Padres and Yankees, has thrown as many as 100 pitches in a game just once since July 21, that coming on Sept. 16 against Toronto.

Neither Burnett nor Pettitte worked on fewer than four days' rest between starts this season. However, the Yankees did use September to give each of them, as well as Sabathia, extra days between some starts in an effort to keep them fresh during the postseason.

"We prepared for this," Eiland said. "We had the luxury of some off days in September because we clinched relatively early. Most of our starters got extra days off in September."

As for Sabathia, Girardi did not commit to giving him three starts in this series. Reading between the lines, it sounds as if the Yankees manager wants to see where his team stands in the series following the first couple of games before committing.

"CC is a guy that we asked to go on three days' once, and if you start asking guys too much, you worry about the quality of work," Girardi said. "It's something that we have to weigh over the next few days. We don't have to make a decision for awhile."

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