Trachsel ended a 14-day layoff in unimpressive fashion Saturday, allowing nine runs in 1 2/3 innings in an 11-4 loss to Tampa Bay. He's 2-5 with an 8.82 ERA, which makes it easy for manager Dave Trembley to make the right-hander the odd man out.
"Whenever I need another fifth starter, that's the possibility that Steve Trachsel will pitch," Trembley said Monday. "I will keep all of the guys on their regular turn as best I can."
At 37, Trachsel is the oldest player in a rotation built on youth. That wouldn't matter much if the 14-year veteran was pitching well, but at this point, he can't really complain about being passed over.
"It's not difficult to deal with. It is part of the game and I'll do what I have to do to contribute," Trachsel said. "Staying sharp and all that, yeah, that's the hardest part."
He tried throwing on the side before his last start, but that obviously didn't shake off the rust he accumulated while going two weeks between starts.
"That's the longest I have ever had, for sure," he said of the layoff. "I threw a lot of bullpen [sessions]. I was supposed to throw a simulated game in New York, but it was canceled due to a Yankees team picture or something."
Trembley said Trachsel would not be used as a reliever. Trachsel is willing to try pitching out of the bullpen, but all things considered, he'd rather just sit and wait for his next turn.
"I'll just kind of do whatever I can to contribute at this point," he said. "It's got to happen sooner or later, I guess. But yeah, that would be a lot more difficult I think than having time between starts."