MINNEAPOLIS — Kirk Saarloos' stellar work in the rotation for Triple-A Sacramento earned him his promotion to the A's roster earlier this week.
Though the A's called him up to bolster the bullpen, Saarloos may find himself drawing more starting duties, if Justin Duchscherer is forced to miss any time after aggravating his right hip in Monday's win over the Minnesota Twins.
Saarloos is ready for whatever responsibility is thrown his way. He was a member of the A's rotation in 2005 and then showed his flexibility in 2006, splitting his time between starting and relieving and doing a steady job in both.
The A's traded him to Cincinnati before the 2007 season, where he pitched primarily in relief, before bringing him back on a minor league deal in January. He made two appearances with Oakland in April. After that he settled into Sacramento's rotation and went 9-4 with a 4.22 ERA in 22 starts.
"Obviously I want Justin to make his next turn. He's having a good season," Saarloos said. "If he can't, I'd love to take the ball. But I don't make those decisions."
The A's had no update on Duchscherer on Tuesday, when Duchscherer was scheduled to visit team orthopedist Dr. John Frazier in the Bay Area.
His turn in the rotation comes Saturday in Seattle.
Manager Bob Geren was asked before Tuesday's game about the way he utilized his bullpen late in Monday's victory. Left-hander Alan Embree was summoned in the seventh inning to face Brian Buscher but was lifted for Huston Street immediately after striking out Buscher.
Geren also had a relatively quick hook with Street. Street allowed Randy Ruiz's double on his first hitter before getting Brendan Harris on a soft liner to shortstop to end the seventh.
When Street gave up a single to start the eighth, Geren called upon closer Brad Ziegler, who finished off the 3-2 win.
"The ideal scenario would have been a 1-2-3 eighth and bring in Brad for the ninth," Geren said.
But the manager has confidence in Ziegler in two-inning situations, and his confidence in Embree and Street might still need to be restored. Both had been good in recent outings but have struggled overall this season.
That leaves open the question of whether Geren would go back to Street, the A's closer for most of the past four seasons, if Ziegler is unavailable in a save situation. Geren didn't offer a concrete answer for that scenario, but he had high praise for Joey Devine's recent work and might consider him an option.
Mike Sweeney (knees) was DH again for Sacramento on Tuesday night for the second game in his rehab assignment, going 1-for-3. "... Ryan Sweeney, on the DL with a sprained right thumb, is rehabbing in Phoenix but has yet to start hitting.
— Joe Stiglich