OAKLAND -- Bartolo Colon is expected to throw his first pitch against the Red Sox in a little more than an hour, at which point the caveats for his participation in the All-Star Game will kick in. Having pitched the Sunday before the game, Colon will be eligible to throw one inning in the game, and can also choose to opt off the active roster, at which point he'll have to be replaced -- potentially by somebody like A's closer Grant Balfour.
Colon, of course, is not required to make himself ineligible. But Tigers and A.L. manager Jim Leyland has been pretty adamant that he is very much against using any pitcher in the game who has started just two days before, as Colon will have done. Leyland was quoted in the Detroit News as saying: "They can blast me till the cows come home, and I'm not doing it. If anybody doesn't see the common sense in that, then they have a problem." So if Colon does stay on the roster, it'll likely be as a spectator.
A's manager Bob Melvin said he hasn't heard whether Colon is leaning either way, but that it makes sense Colon would want to inform the league by today at the latest. So there may be news on that after his start today. For now, here's the A's lineup for their series and first-half finale against Boston, with Colon trying to become just the third Oakland pitcher since 1975 to win 13 games before the break (the others -- Dave Stewart in 1989 and Bob Welch in 1990):
And the Red Sox lineup against Colon:
* The A's won't have a lot of familiarity with the pitcher they're facing today. Brandon Workman, the Red Sox right-hander, will be making his second big-league appearance. His first came July 10, when he pitched two innings in relief. Workman is a 24-year-old who was 8-2 with a 3.21 ERA in 17 games between Double-A and Triple-A this year before being called up. Melvin said the A's will glean what they can from video and reports and go from there.
* On another note, Melvin was asked for his take on fellow manager Bruce Bochy letting Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum throw 148 pitches in Lincecum's no-hitter against the San Diego Padres on Saturday night. Melvin joked that as a manager you like to be able to sit back and enjoy such a pitching performance, but stressing over a rising pitch count doesn't really allow for that.
"But I don't blame him for what he did last night," Melvin said. "You want to see a guy like (Lincecum) get a no-hitter."
Melvin said the closest he's come to that kind of decision was in his first year in Oakland, when Guillermo Moscoso was trying for a shutout and Melvin let him throw 129 pitches against the Kansas City Royals. On the final one, Scott Sizemore made an error behind Moscoso and Melvin took Moscoso out with two outs in the ninth inning of a 7-0 game.
Saturday night, Melvin opted not to send A.J. Griffin out for the ninth inning in a 3-0 game after Griffin had shut out the Red Sox for the first eight. Griffin was at 110 pitches and Melvin said it wouldn't have been "prudent," adding that he puts a fair amount of weight into pitch counts.
"It depends on who, too," he said. "We do a lot of work looking at when the performance starts to decline. Certain guys are a little different that way."
* Still no timetable for Brett Anderson, but Melvin said the left-hander has played catch from 120 feet and there's a possibility Anderson could throw off a mound during the A's road trip immediately after the break.
"If that happens maybe we'll have a better sense of a schedule," Melvin said.
-- Matt Kawahara