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Outman Making A Strong Case For Oakland

Outman was an A's fan as a kid.

With Justin Duchscherer and Gio Gonzalez hurting, the race for a spot in the Oakland A's Opening Week rotation is suddenly wide open. Although much of the attention has been paid to some of the A's youngest pitchers, Josh Outman – only 24 himself – has quietly put together a strong spring in his bid to break camp with the A's as either a starting pitcher or a reliever.

There is a reminder of how Josh Outman joined the Oakland A's sown to the back of his jersey. When Outman was called-up to the big leagues last September, the A's issued him the number 55, which was the number worn by Joe Blanton, the man Outman was traded for mid-season 2008. The 55 doesn't look quite the same on Outman. Blanton is a burly right-hander who stands at about 6'3'' and weighs around...

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