Now, the reshaping of Oakland's pitching staff will take on another phase, as the A's are set to call up highly touted pitching prospect Gio Gonzalez to start Wednesday's game against the Blue Jays. The left-hander, who has been pitching well at Triple-A Sacramento, will be making his Major League debut.
"We're excited to see him," said Oakland manager Bob Geren. "He's another big piece of what we're building here. It's going to be great to see him get experience and get it started out here."
The 22-year-old Gonzalez will be added to the roster on Wednesday, but Geren has not yet revealed who will be sent down to make room for the starter. With Gonzalez taking the mound that day, Geren said that Justin Duchscherer's start will now be pushed to Thursday. Duchscherer was originally scheduled to pitch on Wednesday, but will instead receive an extra day of rest.
"Wednesday was Gio's regular day [to pitch] and I wanted to give Duchscherer a regular day's rest," Geren said. "[Duchscherer] is having such a great year, I just felt like at this point of the season, giving him an extra day would be good."
The A's acquired Gonzalez -- a first-round pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft -- last January in a deal that sent outfielder Nick Swisher to the White Sox. Gonzalez was 8-7 with a 4.24 ERA in Sacramento this year, striking out 128 batters in 123 innings. In his last start, against Nashville, Gonzalez allowed just two hits over eight shutout innings, striking out nine.
"We feel like he's ready," said Geren, adding that he had seen Gonzalez throw in Spring Training this year.
"He has electric stuff," said the manager. "He's young and just needed to sharpen up a couple different parts of his game [in the Spring]. But his fastball and curveball and everything were well above the Major League average. It was outstanding. He needed a little bit more seasoning, but obviously he made a real good impression with everyone."
David Singh is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.