A's line up pitching for start of Cactus League
PHOENIX -- The A's will have right-hander Jesse Chavez start the Cactus League opener against the host Brewers on Saturday.
Chavez, 29, will be opposed by Milwaukee righty Mike Fiers, while lefty Travis Blackley will start Sunday at Temple Diablo Stadium against the Angels. On Monday, southpaw Andrew Werner -- acquired in the November trade that sent Tyson Ross to the Padres -- will start Oakland's home opener against the Indians at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
Monday's contest will also feature a handful of notable arms, including 2011 first-round Draft pick Sonny Gray and recent signee Hideki Okajima, as well as lefty Jordan Norberto.
Much of the pitching staff's regulars won't make appearances during the first few games, as the A's attempt to ease them along this lengthier spring schedule following a heavy workload in 2012. That includes Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone, Ryan Cook and Sean Doolittle.
Chavez was purchased from the Blue Jays in August last year and, after 10 innings of two-run ball with Triple-A Sacramento, was promoted to Oakland. He was used in four games while with the big league club, and allowed seven runs in just 3 1/3 innings -- numbers that don't reflect his ability, manager Bob Melvin said Wednesday.
"I had to put him in some situations that were tough based on necessity, but people around here really like him," said Melvin. "He's looked good. All of our developmental people raved about him in the time they saw him."
Chavez will be stretched out as a starter and, like Blackley, will look to force his way onto the roster in a long-relief role.