According to SuSlu, the A's are thinking hard about it, though Duke is resisting, for obvious reasons. They apparently believe the strain on the arm will be much less in a relief role.
If so, then we had better start contemplating what rotation alignment gives the team the best chance at success this year while still setting up what should be an even better 2010 and beyond. I think Eveland's experience mandates that he be in the mix; Gallagher's potential as well; and Braden's quirky stuff could serve to throw a team off in the midst of harder throwers.
But the next two spots could be crucial-- Slusser also reports scouts raving about both Cahill and Mazzaro this spring. I just don't see Outman and Williams as difference-makers, unless you are talking a negative difference. and the same for Edgar Gonzalez.
I think Gio and whichever of MAC appears most ready-- let's say Cahill or Mazzaro-- will fill out the last two spots-- with the next one of MAC ready to come in during the season as injury and performance warrants. You simply don't let talent like this waste-- particularly if they, not the others, give you the best chance of winning a la Hudson in 1999, Zito in 2000. I really believe we'll see two of the kids as crucial parts of this rotation by midseason.