Oakland Athletics could be struck down again by the feared Tommy John surgery as pitcher A.J. Griffin needs an operation, as confirmed by MLB.com.
The news will come like daggers to A’s fans hearts after Jarrod Parker had the same surgery last month and will not be fit for action until the 2015 season.
Griffin has been suffering with an elbow problem for some months and Dr Thomas Mehlhoff has taken the decision to get him under the knife.
It will not be known whether the pitcher needs Tommy John until Mehlhoff explores the extent of the problem in surgery.
A’s manager Bob Melvin will be praying Griffin can avoid the dreaded surgery which would put him out of action for 12-18 months.
Speaking to MLB.com, Melvin said: “Losing two guys like that for an entire season is a difficult blow. Losing one’s a blow, two’s tough. You move on, but you have sympathy for the two guys that are having to go through that because they’ve meant so much to this team.”
Griffin was taken off the postseason roster due to the injury last season and was called off completely after struggling through Spring Training with flexor tendinitis.
MLB.com reported the pitcher began a throwing program to start some mild physical rehab but Griffin struggled with a familiar ache.
With Griffin out indefinitely and joining pitcher Parker and reliever Fernando Rodriguez on the recovery table, Melvin will dip into the Triple-A’s ranks to find cover.
Josh Lindblom and Arnold Leon may be needed in the majors with a double header coming up against the Seattle Mariners on May 7th.
Leon might be the favoured selection after producing solid figures for Sacramento this season. The 25-year-old Mexican is 3.75 ERA from five starts while Lindblom has struggled with 7.23 ERA in Triple-A from four stars.
The A’s have not yet considered whether they will need to sign a replacement and will wait to know the full extent of Griffin’s injury before making any final decisions.
Griffin, was brought to the A’s in the 13th round of the 2010 draft and made his MLB debut in June 2012. The pitcher sits on a 3.60 ERA record from 47 starts.
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