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Elephant Rumblings: Waldichuk down with elbow injury

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MLB: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the weekend, all!

It’s somewhat rare to get an injury update during the middle of the offseason, The Athletics got that rare bit of mid-offseason news and it wasn't positive.

Left-hander Ken Waldichuk unfortunately got bit by the injury bug in his final appearance of the season, ending a tough season on an even more sour note than he had hoped:

This likely takes Waldichuk out of the running for an Opening Day rotation slot. The type of procedure that Waldichuk underwent is a rather new one. Only Colin McHugh has had the same procedure among MLB pitchers, right at the end of 2019. McHugh didn’t pitch that 2020 season, although the pandemic might have had an impact on that. For what it’s worth, McHugh has been healthy ever since.

Still, the prognosis isn’t great for Waldichuk, who was a primary piece in the return for Frankie Montas. Waldichuk started the 2023 season in the rotation but struggled so much that he was demoted to the bullpen temporarily. He returned to the rotation permanently after the All-Star break and performed much better, posting a 4.04 ERA in the second half. He had seemed to turn a corner, even if he hadn’t made the jump to mid-rotation starter that the club might have been hoping for.

Now, this injury will interrupt his offseason routine at the least, likely pause his Spring Training, possibly affect his availability for the early part of 2024, and worst case scenario sap the entirety of next year away from one of the A’s top pitching prospects. Again, it’s super rare to see these types of injuries crop up halfway into the off-season but at the very least the team is finding out now. It’s looking likely that the team may need to bring on another arm for the starting rotation, even with the plethora of young arms that the club will ultimately want to get a look at. The club brought in Shintaro Fujinami last offseason so expect another low-cost, high-reward signing for the club in the coming weeks. They need the depth, even more desperately now.

MLB News & Interest:

Best of X:

Probably helps them out, frankly:

ICYMI:

Something to keep in mind, the team could always use a veteran arm (or two?):