The Oakland A’s have endured a huge number of pitching injuries this year, and they got some more bad news on Tuesday. Opening Day starter Kendall Graveman will have Tommy John surgery, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle.
The season began poorly for Graveman, as he was mostly rocked in his first seven starts. He was sent down to the minors for good in early May, and by the end of that month he’d landed on the Triple-A disabled list with a forearm strain. After a lengthy effort to rehab the injury, the right-hander will now turn to surgery to fix his arm.
Graveman, 2018: 7.60 ERA, 34⅓ ip, 27 Ks, 13 BB, 9 HR, 6.22 FIP
Tommy John surgery costs pitchers a minimum of a year and usually longer. At best it’s possible Graveman could return at the very end of 2019, but a likelier bet would be to see him in 2020. The A’s will have a decision to make this winter, as he’s eligible for salary arbitration.
It’s been a while since Graveman was part of the 2018 picture, so this news doesn’t necessarily affect anything happening in Oakland right now. The rotation long ago moved on, and no one was banking any serious hopes on his imminent return. But still, it’s a tough break both for the player and for the organization’s general depth moving forward.
In other injury news, Slusser reported before the All-Star break that starter Daniel Gossett had resumed throwing as he begins recovery from his own elbow strain. However, on Monday she followed up to say that he’d been shut back down after a setback. He last pitched for the A’s on June 3, and was recently transferred to the 60-day DL — that last move doesn’t necessarily tell us anything about his health status, though, since he’s already missed nearly 60 days anyway. Meanwhile, fellow starter Paul Blackburn has no structural damage in his own elbow injury, according to insider Jane Lee.
On the position player side, outfielder Boog Powell is set to get back on the rehab trail, reports Slusser. He last played for Triple-A Nashville on June 21 in his first attempt at rehab for his sprained knee. Slusser also notes that outfielder Matt Joyce has resumed swinging but is not yet ready to begin game action again. He had an epidural shot for his strained back before the All-Star break, which helped somewhat (via Slusser).
Summary of MLB disabled list (plus Graveman):
- Powell: beginning rehab assignment
- Joyce: resumed swinging, but not yet on rehab
- Blackburn: shut down for “a couple weeks,” two weeks ago
- Gossett: shut down from throwing program, on 60-day DL
- Triggs: 60-day DL, no update
- Cotton: out for season
- Graveman: out for season, and likely 2019
Best of luck to all the injured A’s in their recoveries!