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Elephant Rumblings: Looking at the A’s rotation options for the second half

Freddy Tarnok made his Oakland debut out of the bullpen Saturday night.

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Kansas City Royals v Oakland Athletics Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

We saw two of the Oakland Athletics’ top prospects in Tyler Soderstrom and Zack Gelof make their major league debuts this week. I speculated yesterday that more position players could be on the way before the end of the regular season. Things are a little more unsettled on the pitching side of things though.

Ken Waldichuk opened the second half and is apparently being stretched back out after spending two months in the bullpen. Hogan Harris followed an opener Saturday, but struggled again. JP Sears has been the A’s most consistent option and will start Sunday.

Paul Blackburn, with two additional years of team control, might be the team’s most sought after option at the trade deadline with starting pitching likely to be scarcely available. Luis Medina has had an up and down season since joining the rotation.

Freddy Tarnok made his A’s debut out of the bullpen in Saturday’s game. He might be the best option to take Harris’ or Waldichuk’s spot in the rotation if they decide to move the latter back to the bullpen. Kyle Muller was the team’s Opening Day starter, but save a spot start before the break, has operated at Las Vegas where he has struggled in eight starts.

When the A’s sent Adrian Martinez down at the end of May, the word was that they wanted to get him stretched out. He’s made nine starts and has an 8.67 ERA and is averaging less than five strikeouts per nine.

There hasn’t been many updates on an injured trio of starters. My guess is that Mason Miller doesn’t pitch again this season after undergoing multiple tests on his forearm. James Kaprielian had shoulder surgery last offseason and is back on the IL with a shoulder strain. Drew Rucinski went on the IL with a stomach illness and then sprained his knee in a bullpen session. He was transferred to the 60-day IL on June 20.

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