05/19/10 3:50 AM ET
Ross named Thursday starter for A's
Geren tabs righty to fill spot left by injured Duchscherer
By Alex Espinoza / MLB.com
"I'm happy to get the start," Ross said. "I'm just going to go out there and try to put up some zeros to help this team out."
Ross said he plans to sit in the dugout on Wednesday to get an up-close look at the Detroit Tigers' lineup. He also said he'll pore over the plethora of scouting reports the team creates for every opponent.
"They have tons of valuable information," Ross said. "It would be ignorant if I weren't to look at those."
Ross, a 6-foot-6 right-handed rookie, said he's been a starter his whole life so he feels most comfortable in the role. On Saturday, when he made the emergency start for Duchscherer in Anaheim, Ross said he was only given about 15 or 20 minutes notice.
"I didn't really have time to have too many emotions," Ross said. "I was just trying to get my mind focused and try to get ready to go just in case they would need me. It probably benefited me."
Though Ross started off by retiring 11 straight batters, he then allowed three straight hits, the third of which was a three-run homer by Kendry Morales.
Still, Geren said he was encouraged by Ross' performance under such circumstances.
"He threw 62 pitches," Geren said. "Sixty-one of them were pretty good."
As for Ross' long-term outlook, Geren said he's yet to decide if Ross would be better served as a starter, a closer or something in between. Geren said Ross made the team out of necessity but that he's kept his spot by mixing up his low-to-mid-90s fastball, which has movement, and his late-breaking slider effectively.
"A lot of pitchers have been very successful breaking in as a reliever then either staying that way or being converted back to a starter," Geren said. "I'd just say his future's bright either way."
Ross, a Bay Area native who attended Cal, admitted it's pretty crazy to think he's already pitching for the team he grew up rooting for. He said the hardest part about coming out of the bullpen is getting loose quickly, but that he approaches it the same as he always has.
"I'm really fortunate," Ross said. "I got drafted in a good organization and they really developed me well to give me the opportunity to advance and succeed as I have."
Oakland is latest stop in Bowers' odyssey
OAKLAND -- As a 32-year-old reliever with five games of big league experience, most would expect Cedrick Bowers to be near the end of his rope.
Just don't tell him that.
"Age is a number to me," Bowers said. "I don't look at it like, 'Oh, there's a certain timetable.' Right now, I feel 21, 22 years old. I don't want people to look at me and say, 'He's an older guy, he's been around for a long time.' I'm doing it just like everyone else is doing it."
Drafted in the fourth round of the 1996 First-Year Player Draft by Tampa Bay, Bowers has traveled all across the globe chasing his dream.
Stops in Japan, Korea, Latin America and the Minor Leagues have rarely been interrupted by a call up to the show. He got his first -- and only other -- sniff of the big leagues in 2008 with Colorado, when he made five relief appearances in the span of nine days before being sent back down to Triple-A.
"When I first got called up [in 2008] I let my emotions take over," Bowers said. "I just basically went out and pitched off adrenaline. I wasn't a pitcher; I was just out there throwing the ball."
During his four years in Asia, from 2004-07, Bowers said he learned the value of taking care of his body. If he can do that, he said, who knows how long he can throw? Citing examples like Jamie Moyer and Ken Griffey Jr., Bowers said he expects himself to be effective for quite some time.
Raised in Florida by a single mother, Bowers said he always had the strength to push through whatever obstacles presented themselves during his odyssey. He said he never considered walking away from the game and that he always believed in his ability to perform.
"It's an awesome feeling," Bowers said of being recalled to the Majors. "I can't even explain it to you. It's something, emotionally, that you yourself go through. You can tell people how happy you are, how excited you are, but at the same time it's just that feeling I can't explain. Baseball is my life."
The southpaw's repertoire consists of a fastball, forking changeup and the occasional sinker or curveball. In 17 2/3 innings at Triple-A Sacramento this season, Bowers struck out 26 batters and had an ERA of 2.55.
"He's a competitor," said Oakland manager Bob Geren. "He throws strikes."
Injured A's on track in their recoveries
OAKLAND -- For now, all is quiet on the injury front for the A's, according to manager Bob Geren.
He said the team sent lefty Dallas Braden home on Tuesday because he was feeling ill, but that there's no doubt Braden will make his scheduled start on Wednesday against Detroit.
All others, Geren said, are on the right track in their respective recoveries.
Geren said lefty Brett Anderson is throwing all of his pitches in long toss off flat ground, while outfielder Coco Crisp had no setbacks to report with his game in Phoenix on Monday. Crisp went 4-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs for advanced Class A Stockton on Tuesday night, while Mark Ellis went 0-for-2 with a walk and an RBI.
Geren said injured right-hander Justin Duchscherer is yet to make an appointment with Nashville-based orthopedist Thomas Byrd to determine if his left hip will need surgery.
Duchscherer has a femoroacetabular impingement, which occurs when the ball and socket of the hip rub together abnormally, injuring the joint. If surgery is unavoidable, it will likely cost Duchscherer the remainder of his season.
Ben Sheets set new season highs in innings pitched (6 2/3) and pitches thrown (111) on Tuesday. ... After Tuesday's extra-inning 6-5 walk-off win, the A's are now 7-2 in one-run games, the best such mark in the Majors. ... Ryan Sweeney tied his career high with four hits on Tuesday.
Alex Espinoza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.