With the A's having waived both Charles Thomas and Bocachica this past week, it makes you wonder who will man centerfield in the inevitable case that both Mark Kotsay and Milton Bradley are hurt at the same time. Nick Swisher? Yeech! Javier Herrera is on the 40-man roster, so I'd guess he'd be the guy, but that's assuming he has recovered from his Tommy John surgery.
The A's have two Rule 5 picks on their 40-man roster, and there's probably not room for both of them on the 25-man roster. If either one gets sent back to their original teams, that would leave a roster spot or two open for the emergency fill-in. Someone like Hiram Bocachica.
As for DiNardo (who apparently has a fan club, too), he's a soft-tossing lefty. He throws cutters, cutters, cutters, a slider, and an occasional changeup. Baseball Prospectus says,
DiNardo draws consistent comparisons to Jamie Moyer because he's left-handed and throws about as hard as a pitching coach.
Ouch. That's not particularly encouraging--many are compared to Moyer, but few actually do Moyer. PECOTA gives DiNardo about a 30% chance of being something better than a scrub. Which is actually pretty good, considering that DiNardo's 2006 season was plagued with a neck injury, and PECOTA probably thinks he just sucked in 2006 because he sucked. DiNardo also pitched in the WBC, for Italy. You can ask Esteban Loaiza about how starting pitchers struggled after the WBC last year.
DiNardo had a pretty good season in AAA Pawtucket in 2005: 3.15 ERA, 1.32 WHIP. He's basically another Brad Halsey/Kirk Saarloos for the A's--a fifth-starter/middle-reliever type. He's also apparently a replacement for Barry Zito in the left-handed pitcher/guitar player department. We love Bocachica--he has an all-time classic baseball name--but mediocre pitchers are harder to find than AAAA outfielders. The move gets my Catfish Stew stamp of approval.