A's lose second prized young pitcher to Tommy John surgery this week

Big League Stew

It’s been a tough week for young Oakland A’s pitchers.

On Friday, 26-year-old Jharel Cotton found out that he needs season-ending Tommy John surgery after a promising spring.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

On Tuesday, the A’s announced that top pitching prospect A.J Puk will miss the season for the same procedure to repair a damaged ulnar collateral ligament.


Puk, a 6-foot-7-inch 23-year-old who throws in the mid 90s and has drawn comparisons to Randy Johnson, had a strong spring and was poised to be fast-tracked to the majors, according to the San Jose Mercury News. He struck out 184 batters in 125 innings in the minors last year.

A.J. Puk’s highly anticipated MLB debut with the Oakland A’s will have to wait after he undergoes Tommy John surgery. (AP)
A.J. Puk’s highly anticipated MLB debut with the Oakland A’s will have to wait after he undergoes Tommy John surgery. (AP)

Puk posted a 3.38 ERA with seven strikeouts and six walks in 10.2 innings this spring. He left a game on March 15 when his velocity dropped, the Mercury News reports, and little was known about his condition until Tuesday when orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews recommended the procedure.

[Batter up: Join a Yahoo Fantasy Baseball league for free today]

“Dr. James Andrews was consulted after an initial diagnosis by Dr. Doug Freedberg in Arizona, and it has been recommended that Puk undergo Tommy John surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his left arm,” the A’s announced.

Assuming Puk was on his way up to the A’s, that leaves Oakland without a pair of projected starters for the season. Cotton had shown signs of improvement this spring with a 3.75 ERA, 16 strikeouts and six walks through 12 innings after struggling to a 9-10 record with a 5.68 ERA last season in 24 starts.

More MLB video from Yahoo Sports

More from Yahoo Sports:
Pats owner on gun debate: ‘Something’s not right’
Loyola Chicago’s run reveals NCAA selection flaws
Next step in LiAngelo’s journey: NBA draft
Marlins reject $200K from Marlins Man for season tickets

What to Read Next