Add Jarrod Parker to the list. The 25-year-old, who figured to be the Oakland Athletics' opening day starter, has joined the ranks of MLB pitchers staring at Tommy John surgery and a year-long recovery.
The A's announced Monday that Parker would have surgery, the second in his young career. He was 12-8 last season in Oakland with a 3.97 ERA.
He joins Atlanta Braves pitchers Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy and Arizona Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin, all of whom look likely for baseball's common (but disheartening) elbow surgery. All three are getting second opinions, but Tommy John surgery looks likely. Medlen and Beachy, like Parker, would be having it for the second time.
The situation in Oakland right now is a good example of why managers will tell you that a team can never have enough pitching. Parker is done for the year and A.J. Griffin is fighting forearm stiffness. The initial diagnosis said Griffin doesn't need surgery, but in previous cases we've seen that turn into Tommy John a couple months down the road. For now, he'll have rest his arm for at least three weeks.
Oakland fans cringed even more when free-agent signee Scott Kazmir was scratched from his start Monday because of a triceps issue. Fortunately for them, that's being called "minor."
The A's are lucky to have depth. Sonny Gray, Dan Straily, Tommy Milone are all in the rotation, with Drew Pomeranz, Jesse Chavez or Josh Lindblom in line to be a fifth starter if Oakland needs them. Gray looks to be the team's new opening day starter.
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