Ross' hold on No. 5 starter spot appears to be tenuous

The Sports Xchange
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Tyson Ross remains the apparent fifth starter, although manager Bob Melvin was not saying for certain on Friday.

Melvin did tell reporters that the schedule will be a major factor, which points to Ross, who is on turn for Tuesday, when Oakland will need a starter at Anaheim.

Melvin noted that Ross pitched better on Thursday for Triple-A Sacramento than he had in his first start after being demoted. The right-hander allowed five hits and three runs in five innings, but he walked no batters and struck out four.

Right-hander Jarrod Parker, obtained in the Trevor Cahill deal with Arizona, is also a consideration. In two starts, Parker has 10 strikeouts and has walked two. Parker potentially could pitch Tuesday on an extra day of rest should the A's decide to bypass Ross.

Melvin said he expects that the A's will see several pitchers working in that spot this season. Another candidate at some point will be right-hander Brad Peacock, from the Gio Gonzalez deal with Washington.

Ross is the best bet initially, but as Melvin said on Friday, Ross will need to pitch ahead in the count to be effective. That's going to determine if that fifth spot is Ross' for the long term or just temporarily.

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