After kicking around the fringes of the major leagues for six years, during which his wife, Crystal, worked as a longshoreman to help support the family, Jesse Chavez finally has a home in a starting rotation.

Finding such a spot at the age of 30 is most unusual, but there's not much in the way of routine when it comes to Chavez, who will start Wednesday's game at Minnesota.

First of all, he is among the lightest professional athletes around, non-jockey division: He's 6-foot-2 and is optimistically listed at 160 pounds. When he was in high school, he was 6-0 and weighed 125.

"We had him in the weight room, but you can't add much strength when there are no muscles," said Robert Ridge, Chavez's pitching coach at A.B. Miller High School in Fontana (San Bernardino County). "Jesse is just all skin and bones. It's laughable what some teams have listed his weight as; some places put him at 175. There's no way."

A's special assistant Grady Fuson was with Texas when the Rangers drafted Chavez out of Riverside Community College in 2002.