With the announcement that A.J. Griffin has been sidelined for at least three weeks, and concerns for Jarrod Parker’s arm pain, Oakland A’s fans have faith that the depth of the Athletics’ pitching corps can cover the vacancies.
Griffin had a dreadful appearance against the Rockies on Thursday night, March 13, surrendering five runs and two homers in just 3 1/3 innings. The following day he reported discomfort in his pitching elbow and on Saturday, the A’s he’d miss the start of the season.
Due to an arm strain, Parker, who was the expected starter for the March 31 opener, will have a consultation on Monday, March 17 done by Dr. James Andrews in Florida. Dr. Andrews performed Parker’s Tommy John-style ligament replacement surgery in 2009 that cost him the 2010 season.
If all goes well, reports are that Parker could be back in Arizona throwing on the sidelines on Wednesday or Thursday. If not, he could be shutdown also missing weeks after the start of the season.
Parker, 25, and Griffin, 26, combined for 64 starts last year for the A’s, with Parker posting a 12-8 record with a 3.97 ERA in 197 innings and Griffin going 14-10 with a 3.83 ERA in 200 innings.
Griffin also led the majors with 36 homers allowed and judging by the two no-doubters surrendered on Thursday, hasn’t made changes necessary to correct it. Griffin also missed time last season due to elbow inflammation at the end of the season, missing the ALDS.
My guess is the Opening Day starter selection is between Gray and Kazmir, however Gray, who wowed fans with his strong performance in Game Two of the ’13 ALDS, has struggled this spring with a 5.14 ERA over seven innings. The left-hander Kazmir has been more impressive allowing only three hits and no runs in his seven innings of works so far and, at this point, is likely to get the nod.
Milone, 27, who was acquired via trade with the Nationals last year for Gio Gonzalez, pitched five strong scoreless innings against the Giants in an 8-1 win on Saturday. Milone allowed only three hits, walked two and had two strikeouts.
Chavez, 30, who showed effectiveness last season coming out of the bullpen and in spot starts, has had a notable spring so far with 12 2/3 scoreless innings. Look for him to start an upcoming game to earn a spot in the rotation.