The A's are watching with some concern as the innings mount for their young starters, who are pretty much the focal point of the season - the team's rebuilding hopes center around Vin Mazzaro, Trevor Cahill, and Brett Anderson.
Manager Bob Geren wanted to use Justin Duchscherer or Dallas Braden in the sixth spot, but both pitchers will be out till mid or late September. And with John Smoltz and Vicente Padilla heading to rival ball clubs, the A's do not have many options to choose from.
They could pursue former Athletic Mark Mulder, who should be cleared to play in the next week or so. When the rosters expand in September, you can count on the A's bringing up a plethora of young pitchers to give some of their guys a rest.