A's name Pomeranz as fifth starter; Chavez to bullpen

Lefty slated to get first start April 10 vs. Mariners

A's name Pomeranz as fifth starter; Chavez to bullpen

SAN FRANCISCO -- A's manager Bob Melvin announced Oakland's starting rotation to begin the season on Thursday, pegging lefty Drew Pomeranz as the team's fifth starter over right-hander Jesse Chavez.

"Both of them pitched well," Melvin said. "I think Jesse's versatility works against him a little bit. For a guy that was really on the cusp of making the All-Star team last year, as far as Jesse Chavez goes, it's disappointing for him and I don't blame him. He pitched well in spring and he didn't do anything to lose the job, we just feel like we're a better team this way."

A's closer Sean Doolittle is out to start the season with a shoulder injury so the bullpen could use some bolstering. Melvin pointed to Chavez's ability to be a long-relief man and a situational reliever as factors into the decision.

Pomeranz posted a 2.35 ERA in 69 innings across 20 appearances (10 starts) for the A's last season, but was sidelined for more than two months after breaking his hand while punching a chair following a poor outing in June. Chavez started off last season strong in Oakland's rotation but was eventually moved to the bullpen, finishing the season with a 3.45 ERA in 32 games (21 starts).

Pomeranz fans Hawkins

Melvin also laid out the pitching assignments for his staff, with Opening Day starter Sonny Gray followed in order by Jesse Hahn, Scott Kazmir, Kendall Graveman and then Pomeranz. Hahn, who made 12 starts as a rookie last year in San Diego, will follow Gray instead of the veteran and 2014 All-Star Kazmir, due to the timing of their pitching schedules, Melvin said.

Alex Espinoza writes for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.