Wuertz more than ready for season debut

Wuertz more than ready for season debut

OAKLAND -- Michael Wuertz's Spring Training lasted slightly longer than he would have liked, but the right-handed pitcher couldn't have been welcomed back into the big league fold at a more suitable time.

As the A's continue to deal with a lengthy list of injuries, they revealed a dose of rare good news Monday in the form of Wuertz's activation from the disabled list, where he was sidelined with right shoulder tendinitis since April 3.

To make room for Wuertz on the club's 25-man roster, the A's optioned Brad Kilby to Triple-A Sacramento. The left-handed reliever, recalled April 23, did not allow a run in four of his five outings -- the most impressive one coming Sunday in 3 2/3 scoreless innings of work at Toronto.

Wuertz, meanwhile, made just two spring appearances before being shut down. In six rehab outings -- four with Triple-A Sacramento and two with Class A Stockton -- he allowed no runs, seven hits and three walks while fanning six.

"He feels good," said manager Bob Geren, "and is ready to go."

In fact, Wuertz feels more than ready for his season debut.

"I think, after going through what I did, I almost feel better than I ever have starting a season," the right-hander said. "The only thing that's a little weird is getting back into the baseball realm.

"It was hard watching the games or listening to them on the radio on my drives to Sacramento and San Jose. I feel ready to go -- it's just a matter of getting out there now."

Wuertz will look to extend a scoreless streak that dates back to last season, when he didn't allow a run over his final 13 1/3 innings. The 31-year-old went 6-1 with four saves and a 2.63 ERA in a team-leading 74 appearances during a 2009 season in which he was one of the top set-up men in the American League.