Fernando Rodriguez optioned, thoughts on Drew Pomeranz

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Fernando Rodriguez was activated from rehab and optioned to Sacramento. How does this affect Drew Pomeranz's development as a starter?

Fernando Rodriguez was activated from his rehab assignment in Sacramento and immediately sent on optional assignment to Sacramento. He had been 1-0 with a 1.04 ERA in eight appearances for the River Cats. Rodriguez required optional waivers which could have been obtained any time during spring training, but those waivers expired at 2 p.m. Pacific Time today, the 30th day of the Major League Baseball season.

Last week, while explaining why I thought Drew Pomeranz was not in imminent danger to end up in Sacramento before May, I concluded that between the three relievers in Sacramento on the 40-man roster--Evan Scribner, Joe Savery, and Rodriguez--only Rodriguez was free from any considerations of major league service time. This option year would be the last for Rodriguez unless he is called up no later than the nineteenth day of his optional assignment, or May 17.

May 17 coincidentally allows the A's quite a few choices with regard to Pomeranz's development that would allow the Athletics to avoid Super Two arbitration after the 2015 season, as I also explained last week:

  1. Option Pomeranz before May 2 . . . , keep him on the roster for all of 2015.

  2. Option Pomeranz between May 2 to May 10 . . . In 2015, option Pomeranz for the first twenty days. A player must be on optional assignment for at least twenty days for that assignment not to count for his service time, and there are eleven more days in an MLB season than an MLB service time year.

  3. Option Pomeranz after May 10. In 2015, option Pomeranz until the earlier date of (1) his service time not hitting that year's Super Two cutoff or (2) fewer than eighty-six days left in the season (about mid-July) and not reaching 3.000 years of service time. Super Two arbitration is not available to players that were on the active roster for fewer than eighty-six days the preceding season, but regular arbitration would be.

Several commenters made the point last week that calling up Scribner or Savery leaves the Athletics bullpen without a true long-reliever, while Fernando Rodriguez has experience in a long relief role.

Appearances of two innings pitched or longer

2012

2011

Prediction

At this point, I would guess that the Athletics are waiting for a blow-out game that requires Pomeranz to eat a lot of innings before optioning him to Sacramento. If the A's care about holding onto Rodriguez's option for as long as they can--say for next year if the projected 2015 rotation stays healthy and one needs to slot into the long-relief role--he's up and Pomeranz is down not later than May 17.

Query

If Rodriguez is going to be the long man for the rest of the year, who is the odd man out when Eric O'Flaherty returns perhaps as soon as the end beginning of June?

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