Bob Melvin Has Patience, Excitement in Top A's Prospect Jesús Luzardo

MESA, Ariz. -- Blame it on the rain -- among other things.

Everywhere you stepped at Hohokam Stadium managed to be in the form of a puddle -- and that could have impacted the way A's manager Bob Melvin was evaluating players. Oakland's spring training opener on Thursday against the Mariners lasted just an inning and a half. To say that hindered the chance to watch players is an understatement.

"We told them early on once we get into the games, that's when we start evaluating," Melvin told media members on Friday. "Yesterday may have been more difficult because of the conditions, but everyone that runs out there gets evaluated now so in that case, the heat's on a little bit more."

With the wet climate and shortened spring, Melvin knew it would be tough, especially when it came to assessing MLB Pipeline's No. 1 left-handed prospect, Jesús Luzardo. But his opportunities mirrored that of A.J. Puk and what he got last year.

"The talk early on coming into camp I don't think we were looking at Puk for the rotation and the way he pitched and the injuries he had -- I think Luzardo even more so," Melvin said. "I think he's a guy we're going to be careful with. If we feel like he needs a little bit more, then that's what we're going to do."

But the entire package the A's would get with Luzardo excites Melvin.

"A lot of fanfare comes with him -- and certainly with the stuff he has, it's warranted."

[RELATED: Luzardo's star potential]

The three-time Manager of the Year said Luzardo would soon get his chance to start.

It appears that fanfare from the 21-year-old could be something A's fans will get to witness on the big stage in the near future.

Be ready. 

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