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Oakland A’s spring injury updates: Frankie Montas, Jharel Cotton, Matt Joyce

It’s Tommy John surgery for Cotton.

Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Most of the spring’s initial aches and pains are now in the rear-view mirror, but a couple of them still linger — and one of them is particularly serious. We took our last look at the Oakland A’s injury situation on Tuesday, so here’s a new update.

Jharel Cotton

The worst-case scenario is now official — Cotton will have Tommy John surgery, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle and the other insiders. That puts an end to his 2018 season, and probably the beginning of 2019 as well. The issue began all the way back in September, reports Slusser.

The loss of Cotton leaves a big hole in the rotation depth chart. There are six starters remaining for five spots, and then after that it’s just inexperienced prospects and unexciting minor league free agents. Slusser notes that the A’s “might be looking at outside starting pitching options if some FAs price tags have come down,” which is actually big news.

Frankie Montas

The flame-throwing right-hander hasn’t pitched since March 4 because of shoulder tightness, reports Martin Gallegos of the East Bay Times. Gallegos goes on to say that Montas could be back in games by next week, if his recovery continues to go well. The team had planned to stretch him out as a starter this season, and given the withering depth of the rotation it would sure be useful if that experiment worked out.

Matt Joyce

The outfielder has been restricted to DH so far this spring due to an elbow problem, but he’s feeling better and “hopes to be back out in the field soon,” reports Slusser. If the problem lingers into the regular season, then Melissa Lockard of Oakland Clubhouse reminds us that Khris Davis can swap from DH to LF as needed — in other words, don’t expect Joyce to miss any time from the lineup one way or other. For his part, Davis has been working hard this winter to improve his notoriously weak throwing, says John Shea of the S.F. Chronicle.