Needing roster spot, A's option Gossett

Needing roster spot, A's option Gossett

SAN FRANCISCO -- The A's optioned right-hander Daniel Gossett back to Triple-A Nashville in order to clear a roster spot for Kendall Graveman, who was activated from the disabled list and started Thursday night vs. the Giants.

For manager Bob Melvin, sending down Gossett a day after he had his best start of the season Wednesday night wasn't easy.

"Obviously, a tough one for us, based on the way he pitched. I explained to him that when you give up a run, you typically go down to the Minor Leagues," Melvin said jokingly.

The A's travel to Anaheim for a three-game series with the Angels this weekend, but they then have an off-day Monday. Melvin hinted that the A's are planning on skipping the fifth spot in the rotation and pitch their starters on normal rest, starting with Graveman on Tuesday.

If the A's do that, the next time they'd need a fifth starter would be in nine days on Aug. 12. With that gap, the A's wanted to keep Gossett on his routine, even if it's in the Minors.

"It's more about the scheduling right now," Melvin said. "We didn't want to put him in the bullpen or skip him a time around. We want to keep him pitching. It certainly has nothing to do with the fact that he deserves to go down, it's more just a numbers game right now."

Gossett held the Giants hitless into the fifth inning Wednesday, allowing one run in seven innings while giving up three hits, two walks and striking out five.

Since making his Major League debut June 14, Gossett is 3-6 with a 5.17 ERA. But Melvin has liked what he's seen from the rookie since the All-Star break, as he's had three quality starts out of four.

"His command was better and I think he was mixing his pitches a little bit more," Melvin said. "Like any young guy, when they've got some baserunners out there, you kind of rely on one or two pitches out there. When you get to the big league level, you need to use all of your pitches to keep guys off-balance."

Graveman had missed more than two months with right should inflammation. After the A's traded Sonny Gray earlier in the week, Melvin appreciates getting what is, to the A's, the veteran presence of Graveman back.

"This is a guy that starts Opening Day for us because Sonny was injured at the time and rehabbing his way back," Melvin said. "When you lose somebody like that, it's nice to be able to get a guy like Kendall back shortly thereafter."

Worth noting

• Speaking of Gray, the A's watched the right-hander make his Yankees debut in Cleveland in the clubhouse before the game.

"It's a little different seeing him in a gray uniform with an NY on the hat," Melvin said. "It got everybody's attention, and everybody's watching it and pulling hard for him."

Gray went six innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits and three walks. He struck out six.

Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.