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Oakland A’s injury update: Daniel Gossett to have Tommy John surgery

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He was already out of action, but now he’ll be out much longer.

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland A’s lost yet another starting pitcher long-term on Tuesday. Daniel Gossett will undergo Tommy John surgery, the team announced.

The season never really got going for Gossett at the MLB level, after debuting in the bigs in 2017. He made two shaky starts to begin this year but then gave way to veteran stopgap Trevor Cahill. Back down in Triple-A he pitched exceptionally well for a month, then returned and held his own for three games with Oakland. However, just as he seemed to be finding his groove, he left his start early on June 3 and landed on the DL with an elbow strain.

Gossett, 2018: 5.18 ERA, 24⅓ ip, 12 Ks, 8 BB, 5 HR, 5.95 FIP

Tommy John surgery costs pitchers a minimum of a year and usually longer. At best it’s possible Gossett could return at the very end of 2019, but a likelier bet would be to see him in 2020. This is the team’s fourth TJS operation of the year, after Jharel Cotton, Kendall Graveman, and top prospect A.J. Puk.

It’s been a while since Gossett 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.

With Gossett officially out, the A’s rotation picture currently includes leader Sean Manaea, veterans Cahill, Edwin Jackson, and Brett Anderson, and fifth-man options Frankie Montas, Daniel Mengden, and Chris Bassitt (the latter trio is waiting in Triple-A right now). Oakland’s present status as a contender was already a long shot to begin with, but their success is even more amazing considering the significant losses they’ve taken to their staff — a dozen different pitchers have made starts for them this season, and a full rotation’s worth of viable arms is still on the DL. To their credit, they’ve taken it easy on Manaea lately to help keep him fresh, reports Julian McWilliams of The Athletic.

In other injury news, starter Andrew Triggs has resumed throwing, reports insider Jane Lee. His last update in early July was that his nerve irritation was not caused by structural damage. However, fellow starter Paul Blackburn is still shut down for now with an elbow issue, though the last update said there was no structural damage. Meanwhile, Jharel Cotton has begun sock-throwing, a notable milestone in his own TJS recovery, reports Lee.

As for position players, outfielder Matt Joyce had a setback in his recovery from a back strain, says Lee. Further details are not yet clear, like a timetable or the chance of seeing him play again this year. On the other hand, Boog Powell (knee) has played four games (every other day) in his renewed rehab stint in Triple-A. In total he’s gone 1-for-14 with five walks and six strikeouts. No news on Chad Pinder, who had stitches in his arm after a minor car accident and needs to let them heal before he can swing a bat.

Summary of MLB disabled list (plus Graveman):

  • Powell: on rehab assignment (AAA)
  • Pinder: not expected to be out long
  • Joyce: setback in recovery; no timetable right now
  • Triggs: began throwing program
  • Blackburn: shut down for “a couple weeks,” three weeks ago
  • Cotton: out for season
  • Graveman: out for season, and likely 2019
  • Gossett: out for season, and likely 2019

Best of luck to all the injured A’s in their recoveries!