PHOENIX -- The A's aren't shy about their vision of left-hander Jordan Norberto as a starter. But they're going to give him every chance to break camp with the club this year as a reliever.
"With his stuff and the amount of starters we have, if he's going to make an impact, it's going to be in the bullpen," manager Bob Melvin said. "It's up to him to be able to go out there and calm down a little bit, think a little bit slower."
Norberto, 25, was acquired along with Brandon Allen in the trade that sent Brad Ziegler to Arizona. He has struggled with his command since arriving, but showed signs of improvement while pitching for Leones del Escogido in the Dominican Winter League as a starter, the role he assumed during the first three years of his Minor League career.
"We've talked about him a little bit in a starting role," Melvin said. "That way he's able to ease into some things, because he's a jumpy, high-strung kid. The trick for him coming out of the bullpen is going to be throwing the ball over the plate early. If you're coming in and facing one left-handed hitter in a specialist role, you have no room to settle in."
His versatility could ultimately lead to a job as the club's long-relief man, though that role could also be handed to one of the rotation candidates who isn't a member of the starting five come Opening Day.