OAKLAND -- With the emergence of Bobby Cramer in the A's rotation, Vin Mazzaro has been relegated to the bullpen for the remainder of the season.
"I'll approach it the best I can," Mazzaro said. "Just do my job, stay loose, be ready in the bullpen for whatever happens."
Mazzaro, who will turn 24 on Monday, has made 22 appearances (18 starts) for the A's this season, but was sent down to Triple-A Sacramento on Sept. 6 after an eight-start stretch that saw him go 0-6 with a 5.60 ERA.
Mazzaro made one start with the River Cats before they were knocked out of the playoffs, and has made just one relief appearance in Oakland since then. He said the organization asked him to work on his changeup in Sacramento, but no major tweaks were made.
Looking ahead to next season, Mazzaro figures to be the front-runner for the fifth spot in Oakland's rotation, assuming the team keeps Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez and Dallas Braden.
"He pitched in [the rotation] a lot this year," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "He's young and talented, so he is definitely in the mix."
Geren added Mazzaro will be the club's primary long man for the next few days, as Boof Bonser has been used as the situational reliever in three of the past five games. Still, Mazzaro said he's focused on returning to the A's rotation next season.
"That's the whole goal," Mazzaro said. "I'm not a bullpen guy, I'm a starter. Hopefully, I'll be working in the starting rotation and the offseason goes well."