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Smith moved to bullpen as A's adjust rotation

MLB.com @JaneMLB

BALTIMORE -- The A's have adjusted their rotation, leading them to move Chris Smith to the bullpen while they wait to see how Paul Blackburn recovers.

Blackburn, who took a comebacker off his right hand/wrist on Tuesday night, is still holding out hope he can make his next scheduled start. But the A's will wait for Thursday's off-day to see how he responds and go from there, with Smith on hold in the bullpen.

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BALTIMORE -- The A's have adjusted their rotation, leading them to move Chris Smith to the bullpen while they wait to see how Paul Blackburn recovers.

Blackburn, who took a comebacker off his right hand/wrist on Tuesday night, is still holding out hope he can make his next scheduled start. But the A's will wait for Thursday's off-day to see how he responds and go from there, with Smith on hold in the bullpen.

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The 36-year-old Smith has made eight appearances (seven starts) for the A's since his promotion on July 8.

"He can handle any role we throw at him, so at this point in time," A's manager Bob Melvin said, "it's more about seeing some of the younger guys."

That includes right-hander Daniel Gossett, who was recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Wednesday to start the club's series finale in Baltimore.

Lefty Sean Manaea, who was originally scheduled to pitch Wednesday, has been pushed to Saturday. Kendall Graveman will start Friday's series opener against the Rangers at home, following Thursday's off-day.

Manaea bounced back into form in his last start, making it through six innings in Houston. But he had completed fewer than four innings in each of his previous three outings, and his velocity has been down.

By lending three extra days to Manaea, the A's can also keep Graveman, who has pitched just 67 1/3 innings this year because of injuries, on track.

"Maybe he's a little run down, I'm not sure," Melvin said of Manaea. "He'll never say that, but if you can give a kid like that with the innings that he has a seven-day break, it was the only opportunity we had to do it."

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Oakland Athletics, Chris Smith