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Pomeranz may be heading for starting role

Pomeranz may be heading for starting role

BOSTON -- The A's have always viewed Drew Pomeranz as a potential starting option, and there's a possibility they will use him as such sooner rather than later.

When asked on Sunday about potentially starting Pomeranz in the second game of Wednesday's doubleheader against the Mariners, manager Bob Melvin replied, "Anything's possible in that scenario, right now. I'm not ruling that out.

"He's a guy that has been a starter, and ... what we've seen of him in [Spring Training] and early this season suggests he could have success. So whether that's in a long role in the bullpen or the need is there for a starter, I think we've got him to a pitch count that would suggest, if that need came up, then he would be one of the guys we would potentially look at for that role."

Triple-A right-handers Josh Lindblom and Arnold Leon remain the top possibilities for a second Wednesday start. But it could turn out to be the perfect chance to further stretch out Pomeranz, who got up to 56 pitches in relief work on Friday.

His availability as a starter could become even more significant should the back end of the rotation continue struggling. Dan Straily and Tommy Milone have combined for a 5.44 ERA, though their places in the rotation appear safe for now.

"As we sit here, right now," said Melvin, "what we have is what we have."

Pomeranz, formerly a top prospect with the Indians, has a 1.98 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings with the A's.

"What we've seen is a guy with great stuff," said Melvin. "He's got a plus fastball, a breaking ball that's very tough to track. He is a power guy, and he's showed us, since he's been here, that he can get out right-handers, too. Incorporating his changeup a little bit more if, indeed, he is in a starting role, is probably something we're looking at him to do. But based on what he's done so far, he's been really good. It opens up some options for us."

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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