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Rich Harden

Can anything be made of the impending return of A's ace, Rich Harden?  Coupled with the news this morning that closer Huston Street had " a setback in his recovery from a right-elbow injury" as reported in the San Jose Mercury News (Soon to be the hometown paper!), one can begin to build towards the possibility of Harden remaining in the bullpen if he throws gas for an inning at a time while "building" towards staryer's endurance.

With Justin Duchsherer showing no signs of recovery for his injured hip and the success of current closer Alan Embree and rookie Santaigo Casilla (8 IP, 1H, 2BB, 7K), the case for keeping Harden in the bullpen and pushing Embree back an inning makes a lot of sense especially given the A's AL-leading team ERA.  It is not as if the rotation is struggling.

That is a plausible scenario.  I still tend towards Harden being so injury-prone that he's not going to remain healthy enough to become a starter this season, but I also can see that Street could be down for the count and that contributes to Harden going to the bullpen.  Remember the team know more about its players' injuries than it lets on.