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Oakland A's will not start Zach Neal on Tuesday; options include Eric Surkamp, Daniel Mengden

The Athletics need somebody else to be their fifth starter.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners
A's pitcher Zach Neal (left) will not be asked to start Tuesday's game against the Twins.
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Athletics will not ask Zach Neal to make a second start on Tuesday against the Minnesota Twins, says A's manager Bob Melvin (via Jane Lee, The A's are, according to Lee, "discussing other options." Neal pitched a seven-pitch ninth inning in Saturday's 12-3 win against the Detroit Tigers after he threw 60 pitches in his start last Wednesday.

Internally, the only A's starter on the 40-man roster with Triple-A Nashville is left-hander Eric Surkamp, who is scheduled to pitch for Nashville on Sunday. More exciting options include prospect right-hander Daniel Mengden, who owns an 0.79 ERA after five starts in Triple-A.

Journeyman Chris Smith is on turn to pitch on Tuesday, but given Surkamp and Mengden's availability, I think he'll keep his turn.

After Tuesday, the A's won't need a fifth starter until June 14. The club will have a better sense of when Sonny Gray will be available by that point. Gray "felt good" after a 35-pitch bullpen session on Saturday, reports's Jane Lee, "and the A's expect him to be back shortly after" he is eligible to return on June 5.