Duchscherer to move to rotation

Dec 5, 2007 - 4:19 AM By Jim Keller PA SportsTicker Baseball Editor

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) - Justin Duchscherer was an All-Star reliever in 2005 for the Oakland Athletics. Now he will try to to become an All-Star starter.

The righthander missed most of last season with a hip injury that required surgery similar to that undergone by St. Louis Cardinals closer Jason Isringhausen. He was 3-3 with a 4.96 ERA in 17 games last season and is expected to be ready for spring training - as a starter.

"If he comes in and goes through the process as a starter and doesn't have any setbacks, he will be in the rotation," Oakland manager Bob Geren said.

In the three seasons prior to 2007, Duchscherer was 16-11 with 14 saves and a 2.80 ERA in 171 games.

The 30-year-old likely will join a rotation that includes Dan Haren, Joe Blanton, Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin.

Haren, who is the club's ace, and Blanton have been the center of trade rumors at the winter meetings but Geren doesn't seem to concerned.

"Well, lot of the rumors around him and Blanton are really just that," Geren said. "I think it's a little bit more speculation and it's hard to comment on that type speculation from my standpoint.

"Billy has addressed the media earlier, the local media anyway. Spent a lot of time on that subject. That's just something that's always a possibility. Not too concerned about it right now."

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