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Oakland A’s injury updates: A.J. Puk to have shoulder surgery

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The left-hander hasn’t pitched at all this season

Oakland Athletics Summer Workouts Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s got some unfortunate injury news on Friday. Top left-handed pitching prospect A.J. Puk will have shoulder surgery next week, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle.

The specific nature of the surgery isn’t yet known, explains Slusser:

For all those asking for specifics on Puk’s shoulder surgery, none was provided. Often with shoulder surgeries, damage isn’t really known until they get in there. So no way to know severity, what’s getting fixed, recovery time, etc. Shoulders are complicated.

This is just the latest setback in a young career that has been full of them. After being drafted sixth overall in 2016, Puk quickly worked his way to the upper minors and looked nearly ready for an MLB trial during spring 2018. However, Tommy John surgery wiped out his ‘18 campaign, and it took until late August of ‘19 to make his debut in the majors. He was expected to be part of the staff this year, but his shoulder began barking in the spring, then flared up again during Summer Camp and kept him from playing at all so far, and now will go under the knife to see what’s wrong.

While Puk remains out, A’s fans will get a look at the pitcher Oakland drafted immediately after him in 2016, at No. 37 overall. Daulton Jefferies will get called up to start one of the doubleheader games on Saturday against the Texas Rangers, reports Slusser. The right-hander ranks No. 4 on our Community Prospect List, two spots below Puk, and returned last year from his own Tommy John surgery to post sparkling numbers up through Double-A. He’ll also add another local product and UC Berkeley alum to the roster.

In other injury news, per Slusser:

  • 3B Matt Chapman, who is day-to-day with hip tendinitis and missed all five games of the Astros series this week, will get a second opinion on his hip. That’s a normal thing to do and he still hasn’t been placed on the injured list, even though he’s halfway through a minimum stint already.
  • RF Stephen Piscotty, who missed the last four games with a sore wrist and got a cortisone shot earlier this week, is “improved and likely to be in the lineup [Saturday]” against the Rangers.