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Melvin hasn't decided on rotation after All-Star break

Melvin hasn't decided on rotation after All-Star break

Melvin hasn't decided on rotation after All-Star break

OAKLAND -- Bartolo Colon has yet to decide whether he'll make himself available for the All-Star Game on Tuesday, and as a direct result, manager Bob Melvin has yet to decide how the A's rotation will look coming out of the break.

"I don't know yet," Melvin said Saturday. "Once we get through the break, then we'll map it out. Part of it has to do with [Colon]."

If Colon does not declare himself ineligible, the 40-year-old would be allowed to pitch one inning on Tuesday. The likelihood of that actually happening, however, seems slim, given American League manager Jim Leyland's public comments on his stance regarding the use of starters pitching Sunday.

In short, he is very much against it.

"They can blast me 'til the cows come home, and I'm not doing it," Leyland told reporters last week. "If anybody doesn't see the common sense in that, then they have a problem.

"I would hope that anybody that has a heartbeat would be smart enough to know that you don't pitch a starting pitcher that pitched on Sunday in a friggin' All-Star Game on Tuesday, including the pitcher."

Colon is among three AL All-Star pitchers, alongside Detroit's Justin Verlander and Seattle's Hisashi Iwakuma, scheduled to start Sunday. Colon, like the others, can still make himself available for the Midsummer Classic despite Leyland's strong thoughts.

But whether Colon chooses to do so likely won't be known until after Sunday's game.

"I guess that'll happen when it happens," Melvin said. "That's not something that I am handicapping at this point."

Should any of those three pitchers opt out of being available Tuesday, an opening on the AL roster would be created. A's closer Grant Balfour, carrying around a streak of 42 consecutive saves, is an obvious replacement choice, though there are no guarantees.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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