Next role for A's Pomeranz: Closer?
The Oakland Athletics are expected to get All-Star closer Sean Doolittle back from the disabled list soon. He's essentially spent the entire season on the shelf dealing with a shoulder strain and recovery from an off-season surgery, save for one inning of work in May.
When he returns, it's expected he will resume his role as the A's closer. However, as John Hickey of Inside the A's pointed out in a column on Wednesday, there's no guarantee Doolittle's arm will hold up well enough for him to be the hard-throwing closer he was in years past.
Because of that, Hickey suggests that Oakland might consider lefty Drew Pomeranz as a closing option moving forward. Pomeranz picked up a save on Wednesday afternoon as the A's beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-2, though manager Bob Melvin only replied with a coy "He was today" when asked after the game if Pomeranz is now the de facto closer.
The tall left-hander had some injury issues that limited his work in 2015, though since returning as a relief pitcher he's posted an ERA of 2.17 and has allowed just one run in his past eight games (as pointed out by Hickey).
For his career, Pomeranz has thrown more than 279 innings of work, while 49 of his 93 career appearances have come as a starting pitcher.
Hickey asked Pomeranz if he'd like to close, and he replied with a 'team-first' type of sentiment: “Closing is fine. I like pitching. I like being in the game and helping us win. That’s what it’s all about. I enjoy being involved. I enjoy picking up my teammates. You want to win those games for those guys.’’
This could be something to watch as the A's try to evaluate their talent for 2016 and beyond, and especially with Doolittle coming back soon.
(h/t Inside The A's)