Geren having fun with rookie A's starters

Geren having fun with rookie hurlers

LOS ANGELES -- When right-hander Trevor Cahill took the mound Wednesday at Dodger Stadium, the Oakland A's began a four-game stretch of rookie hurlers as scheduled starters.

Entering Wednesday, the A's had started a rookie pitcher in 12 of the past 15 games and in 39 of 63 games overall -- good for close to 62 percent of the season's starts.

Last year, first-year pitchers started 58 games for the A's, the most since the 1996 season.

Manager Bob Geren said before Wednesday's game that he's enjoyed having so many rookie pitchers on his staff.

"It's actually fun because they're very moldable. They're very receptive to what they're trying to accomplish," Geren said. "They're coming around. They've done a great job. It's been a pleasure to watch them."

Right-hander Vin Mazzaro is slated to start Thursday and left-handers Josh Outman and Brett Anderson round out the rookie quartet.

The four have combined record of 12-14.

Kurt Suzuki said that he's enjoyed catching all the young pitchers and that their lack of experience doesn't influence his catching strategy all that much.

"They're still in the big leagues, and they still got the stuff to be in the big leagues," he said. "You try to treat them like anybody else. But sometimes you want to go out there a little more to settle them down more often."

That means an occasional trip to the mound when Suzuki thinks that the game might be speeding up a little bit, something that he wouldn't necessarily do with a veteran.

"A veteran, you kind of give them a little longer," he said. "You kind of let them get out of it."

But even if it entails a few extra mound visits, it's still been a positive experience for the 25-year-old catcher.

"I think having a young staff is good," Suzuki said. "I think it's fun. They're young, they're talented, they kind of grow up together. That's the fun part."

David Ely is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.