The Oakland Athletics have placed starting pitcher Felix Doubront on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left elbow, the club has announced. Meeting with A's beat writers before Monday's game, A's head trainer Nick Paparesta said Doubront has "fibrous tearing" in the elbow ligament, but that it's not obvious whether surgery is required, according to CSN California's Joe Stiglich.
Doubront does have some fibrous tearing in his UCL, Paparesta says. Is getting second opinion in Cincinnati in one week.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) April 4, 2016
Doubront was slated to be the fifth starter in Oakland's first road game on Friday against the Mariners, with Eric Surkamp the most likely option to take his place. Doubront came out of Saturday's spring training closer against the San Francisco Giants after one inning with left forearm tightness. His fastball velocity was noticeably reduced.
As the A's don't need to roster a fifth starter until Friday, Oakland recalled outfielder Andrew Lambo, though that likely forecloses the possibility of Jesse Hahn for Friday's start, as adding Lambo to take Doubront's spot means Hahn has no injured player to replace, and players on optional assignment to the minor leagues must remain there for 10 days of the regular season unless they are replacing a player going on the disabled list. Hahn is prohibited from being recalled until at least April 13.
Eric Surkamp was impressive in relief of Doubront on Saturday, pitching seven shutout innings to strikeout seven Giants and walk just one while giving up two hits to bring his spring ERA to 3.60 over 20 innings. He can be added to the roster on Friday because he is not on Oakland's 40-man roster, and therefore not on optional assignment.
Although the A's face three consecutive high-quality White Sox left-handed pitchers to open the season, the left-handed batting Lambo adds some significant pop after what is statistically the best major league spring training of his career, hitting .333/.385/.521 in 52 plate appearances over 25 games with two home runs, three doubles, four walks, and 13 strikeouts. He'll be useful off the bench against Chicago's right-handed relievers, including closer Andrew Robertson, and could earn a start on Thursday against Mat Latos.
This post was updated at 4:23 PM with information on the type of injury Doubront is dealing with.