Jerome Williams' last start came on July 19. (Chris Carlson / Associated…)
Jerome Williams will dust off the cobwebs and start Tuesday night’s game against the Oakland Athletics, and Jered Weaver, after throwing a full-throttle, 49-pitch bullpen workout on Monday, will return to the rotation Thursday after missing one start because of biceps tendinitis.
“It felt great,” said Weaver, who is 16-4 with a 2.86 earned-run average on the season but went 1-2 with a 6.85 ERA in his last four starts as he tried to pitch through the discomfort. “It seems like this is behind me. I didn’t feel any bite at all in the bullpen. It’s heading in right direction.”
By pitching the finale of a four-game series against the A’s on Thursday, Weaver will be in line to make five more starts on regular rest, including the opener of a three-game series against Texas on Sept. 18 and at Texas on Sept. 28 and the regular-season finale at Seattle on Oct. 3.
Weaver’s shoulder began bothering him after throwing a four-hit shutout against Oakland on Aug. 6. He has pitched through biceps tendinitis before, but after four starts in which he “just wasn’t myself,” Weaver knew it was time to take a step back.
“I couldn’t get on certain pitches when I wanted to,” Weaver said. “I couldn’t throw my slider as hard as I wanted to. I couldn’t bump up my fastball as much as I wanted to. It felt tight in there. As much as I wanted to go out there at 80-85%, I couldn’t do it anymore. I wanted to give it a break to see if it felt better, and it definitely helped out.”
Williams has gotten far more rest than he expected. Bumped from the rotation to the bullpen in mid-July, Williams has thrown only 4 1/3 innings in four games since Aug. 18. He hasn’t started since July 19.
The right-hander didn’t learn he was starting Tuesday until Monday, so he did not attempt to build endurance with a lengthy bullpen session on Friday or Saturday. Not that he’s concerned.
“I could easily throw 100 pitches,” he said. “There’s no adjustment at all coming from the bullpen. I’m going to do the same things I’ve been doing, go as long as I can and put up zeroes.”
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