Another season, another scramble in April to find healthy starting pitchers for the A's. With Justin Duchscherer landing on the 15-day DL with a strained right bicep, Greg Smith has been called up to take on the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre tonight at 7:07 EDT (4:07 PDT for you locals). The start will be his major league debut, and an opportunity to see if the A's can see immediate benefits from the controversial off-season trades of Dan Haren and Nick Swisher.
As an A's fan, I'm illogically bullish on the team this year, having seen them go 4-0 in lopsided games in Arizona during Spring Training, and battling in just about every contest, as they've managed a 4-4 record thus far. Having read all the bios of the team's newest players acquired in the off-season, I firmly believe the trades had to be made, as the personnel received has been so lopsided in our favor, both replenishing the farm system and giving us talent that can contribute now.
Do we miss Swisher and Haren? Absolutely. But with youngsters like Greg Smith, this is a team that can both be entertaining this year, and extremely competitive in the years forward. We've already seen Dana Eveland make mincemeat of the Cleveland Indians, and now, Smith looks to follow in his footsteps tonight north of the border.
Last season, Smith went 9-5 for the Diamondbacks' AA and AAA teams, with a 3.54 ERA in 22 games. Should be an exciting debut, taking on our good friends Frank Thomas, Marco Scutaro and Matt Stairs, eh?
No announcement has yet been made as to whose place on the 40-man roster Smith will be taking, although early speculation is that Dan Johnson could be moving on. Gametime is 4:07 PDT, 7:07 EDT. See you then.