Oakland A’s starting pitcher Daniel Mengden had foot surgery on Wednesday and will miss at least six weeks, first reported by Melissa Lockard of Oakland Clubhouse. Jane Lee of MLB.com followed up with details:
Six weeks from today would be March 22, which itself is less than two weeks from Opening Day. Given that’s just the date of getting out of the boot, not returning to the mound, it’s probably safe to assume this injury will delay the start of Mengden’s season.
Mengden was set to compete for a rotation spot this spring. Sonny Gray, Kendall Graveman, and Sean Manaea are probably locks, leaving Jharel Cotton, Andrew Triggs, Mengden, and others fighting for the last two spots. With Mengden out of the picture for now, Cotton and Triggs seem like obvious front-runners unless a dark horse like Jesse Hahn or the out-of-options Raul Alcantara wins a spot with a big spring performance.
Andrew Triggs already was the frontrunner for 5th starter spot; right foot surgery for Mengden probably solidifies Triggs' status.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) February 8, 2017
If things go according to plan, easy to imagine a rotation of Gray, Graveman, Manaea, Cotton, Triggs. But things never go according to plan.— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) February 8, 2017
Injuries suck, and having one happen before pitchers and catchers even report just adds insult. But if you want to find a bright side, at least it’s nothing to do with his arm. Get well soon, Daniel!