A.J. Griffin Rumors

A.J. Griffin Undergoes Tommy John Surgery

WEDNESDAY: Griffin’s surgery took place today, according to the Athletics’ official Twitter feed.

TUESDAY: Griffin will, in fact, have Tommy John surgery, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets.

FRIDAY 7:12pm: “No decision on the next course of treatment will be finalized” until Dr. Mehlhoff sees Griffin on Tuesday, A’s assistant GM David Forst tells Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link).

6:28pm: Athletics righty A.J. Griffin will undergo Tommy John surgery next week, a source tells Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com.  An elbow issue first cropped up for the 26-year-old pitcher in March, and word came from A’s manager Bob Melvin this week that Griffin would visit Houston-area specialist Dr. Thomas Mehlhoff on Tuesday for a second opinion.

Griffin provided 200 innings of 3.83 ball as a member of the A’s rotation last year.  The A’s had already lost Jarrod Parker to Tommy John in March.  The A’s seemed to have a surplus of starting pitching when they reached an agreement with Scott Kazmir in December, but attrition has taken its toll.  Nonetheless, Oakland’s 2.74 rotation ERA ranks first in the American League this year.  The group is comprised of Kazmir, Sonny Gray, Dan Straily, Tommy Milone, and the surprising Jesse Chavez.  The A’s may still be compelled to add to their starting pitching depth as the summer wears on.

In an ESPN article today, Jayson Stark addressed this year’s Tommy John epidemic, of which Griffin appears to be the 17th victim.


AL West Notes: Griffin, Figueroa, Mariners, Doolittle

Athletics right-hander A.J. Griffin‘s elbow hasn’t responded well after being shut down for a month, and the 26-year-old will seek a second opinion from Dr. Thomas Mehlhoff, who performed Tommy John surgery on Oakland’s Fernando Rodriguez, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Griffin has been out with flexor tendinitis, which is often a precursor to Tommy John, Slusser points out. She goes on to write that the loss of both Griffin and Jarrod Parker for the season would likely lead the A’s to actively seeking starting pitching on this summer’s trade market, even if they were merely looking for a back-of-the-rotation innings eater to provide some stability.

More out of the AL West…

  • While Griffin is another potential victim of the Tommy John epidemic, Rangers left-hander Pedro Figueroa can definitively add his name to that list. The team told reporters today, including FOX Sports Southwest’s Anthony Andro, that Figueroa has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament and damage to his flexor tendon, and he will likely undergo Tommy John within the next week (Twitter link).
  • Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune conducted a Q&A in which he answered many of his Twitter followers’ questions, and within the article noted that the Mariners are still looking to add a bat to improve their lineup. The team has “never stopped looking” for a bat, he writes, before cautioning that they don’t appear to have much interest in Kendrys Morales. Dutton also touches on the team’s payroll, Hisashi Iwakuma‘s health status and Abraham Almonte‘s role with the club.
  • The San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea compares Sean Doolittle‘s recent five-year contract extension to previous deals of five-plus years for relievers, noting that Doolittle’s contract has little precedent. Shea concludes that the deal works for both sides and doesn’t carry as much risk as other contracts for a pitcher would, as Doolittle is a converted first baseman that has only been pitching for about three years.

Athletics Notes: Escobar, Inge, Griffin

Here are some of the latest rumors out of Oakland as the A's look to be buyers and not sellers at the trade deadline…

  • Yunel Escobar's reported attitude problems have given the A's pause in pursuing the Blue Jays shortstop, but after talking to Toronto sources, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle "the sense I got was that Escobar has matured from his Atlanta days, when he was at his worst. Two people with the Blue Jays told me they really like Escobar and his reputation is overblown."  In terms of other possible shortstop upgrades, Slusser doesn't think Marco Scutaro "is a top option" for the A's and Stephen Drew might not be available if the Diamondbacks make other moves.
  • The A's are focusing on shortstop more than third base, opines Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News GroupBrandon Inge entered tonight's action with a .211/.269/.395 line since joining the A's, but Stiglich writes that Oakland values his defense and clubhouse leadership.
  • A.J. Griffin's "value is at an all-time high" and the rookie right-hander could be a "viable trade chip" to get the Athletics a shortstop, a rival executive tells Jon Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link).  Griffin, 24, has impressed since joining the A's rotation, posting a 2.25 ERA and 3.63 K/BB ratio in six starts.