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Elephant Rumblings: Tarnok to IL but Miller beginning rehab assignment

MLB news & roundup

MLB: Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Tuesday, all!

The Athletics had an injury shake up some of their short-term pitching plans yesterday:

It’s yet another injury to a starting rotation that didn’t need anymore. Already considered a young group heading into the season, the club has had to dig deep into the minor leagues to help round out the starting staff and fill innings. Young arms like Luis Medina, Hogan Harris, Mason Miller and Freddy Tarnok could probably have used more seasoning down on the farm before getting the big promotion but injuries have decimated the depth the club thought it had.

Now you can add Tarnok to the list of injured pitchers the A’s are accumulating. Acquired in the Sean Murphy trade this off-season, Tarnok started the year on the injured list before finally getting healthy and pitching in early June. It only took just over a month before the club would call him up for his big-league debut. In five games (1 start) for the club, Tarnok has pitched 14 23 innings while allowing 8 runs, good for a 4.91 ERA in his young career.

The club targeted him in the Murphy trade for a reason and the quick promotion, after missing the entire year, all but confirms that the club has high hopes for the rookie right-hander. The front office has made evaluating the young players on the major-league level a priority during the second half of the season but now the club will have to wait to see Tarnok pitch against MLB hitters. And with the season close to winding down, we might have seen the last of Freddy Tarnok in Oakland this year.

On the more positive side of pitcher injuries, top pitching prospect Mason Miller is finally feeling healthy enough to begin a minor-league rehab assignment:

It’s an incredibly encouraging development for someone who could lead the starting rotation for years to come. Everyone held their breath when Miller went down with elbow problems in May, with the worst-case scenario in everyone’s minds being the dreaded Tommy John surgery. Thankfully it looks like he has dodged that bullet and is preparing to begin pitching again.

When the club initially promoted Miller to the major-league roster, they stated that he was here to stay. Like, permanently. In four starts for the club he didn’t give them any reason to consider demoting him as he made four starts with a 3.38 ERA. More importantly, he showed off why the club was so high on him as he displayed a fantastic repertoire, most impressively his triple-digit fastball. There’s still enough time in the season for Miller to build back up to make it back to Oakland, but whether that is in the starting rotation or the bullpen is to be determined. Stay tuned!

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