By Morris Phillips
SAN FRANCISCO–At least to start the 2018 season, Andrew Triggs is up and in the starting rotation, and Trevor Cahill is headed out.
Given all the upheaval on the A’s roster, things could change quickly. For wackiness sake, Harvey the Rabbitt could supplant Stomper as the team’s most valuable mascot. Given that, don’t write Triggs and Cahill’s name in ink.
Triggs came to spring training with hopes to land a starting assignment, but did so only because top-prospect A.J. Puk, Jharel Cotton and Paul Blackburn have landed on the disabled list. Puk and Cotton aren’t likey to return this season, and Blackburn is at least a couple of weeks away while his strained forearm recovers.
For manager Bob Melvin, the injuries mean other options have to be handy. Former A’s Cahill and Brett Anderson are part of that mix, a pair of familiar faces originally signed for a look-see.
Cahill pitched three scoreless innings on Tuesday in the team’s exhibition season finale, striking out four. Melvin said stretching out Cahill in an effort to prepare him to start at some point is the goal. Anderson’s path is murkier. He’s still in Arizona working out, and hasn’t thrown in any games, but along with Cahill, the pair provide intriguing options given the fragile nature of the rotation.
“At this point, he looks to be the depth,” Melvin said of Cahill. “It’s one of the reasons we signed him is the injuries we’ve had. He looked good.”
For example, Triggs, currently the fourth option in the rotation, hasn’t blown anyone’s socks off: he started Tuesday and threw three plus innings, allowing all three runs in the A’s 3-0 loss. For the spring, Triggs was 2-2 with a 4.81 ERA over 24 innings.
Melvin was tight-lipped about the club’s outfield situation with Boog Powell and Dustin Fowler bidding to start, and Mark Canha batlling for a roster spot. He said an announcement regarding the entire 25-man roster would come Tuesday.
The A’s open at home on Thursday against the Angels at 1:05 p.m.