A’s phenom Jesus Luzardo won’t pitch in Tuesday’s game against the Colorado Rockies. He threw 44 pitches over three innings Saturday, with the team giving him three full days off after that.
That makes him available again Wednesday when ace Frankie Montas is set to pitch. Manager Bob Melvin said he was uncertain when Luzardo would throw and his exact role when he does.
Luzardo started the season in the bullpen despite being earmarked for the rotation because he wasn’t ready to start after spending two weeks in quarantine following a positive coronavirus test.
The A’s will insert him into the rotation at some point soon, though the timing of that could depend on how the pitching staff fares in coming games and where he’s needed most.
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“We’ll see how the bullpen goes today and what we have available tomorrow, and then we’ll make a decision,” Melvin said. “Either he backs up tomorrow or potentially starts. I think a lot of it has to do with how today and tomorrow’s games go.”
The A’s bullpen has been awesome thus far, currently on a run of 15 straight scoreless innings. Relievers have been taxed early, with starters still ramping up toward longer outings. Melvin said several members of a 10-man bullpen are unavailable Tuesday to recover. He expects Montas and his fellow starters to go deeper into games the second time through the rotation.
The A’s want to see Montas go six innings to lighten the bullpen’s load. They hope Sean Manaea can do the same Wednesday heading into a Thursday off day. Finding a spot for Luzardo to ramp up his pitch count is important, either as a piggyback reliever or in the rotation.