The Athletics announced today that righty Daniel Mengden has undergone surgery on his righty foot after suffering a fracture during a home bullpen session. He’ll require a walking boot for at least six weeks, with further rehab presumably required beyond that point.
Clearly, Mengden won’t be able to participate in Spring Training, which is set to open for A’s pitchers and catchers in less than a week. Even if he’s able to get back on the hill not long after the boot comes off, he’ll need some time to build back his arm strength. Odds are, then, that Mengden won’t be an option for Oakland until at least a month or so into the 2017 season.
The expectation had been that Mengden, who’ll soon turn 24, would battle for a spot in the rotation. He cracked the majors for the first time in 2016 after a quick run through the minors, but scuffled to a 6.50 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in his 72 innings. Still, the strikeout rate was fairly promising and Mengden’s track record suggests that the control won’t continue to be an issue.
Given the injury, he’ll now need to reestablish his spot in the pecking order and hope that an opportunity arises at some point during the year. In the meantime, the organization now seems likely to turn to Kendall Graveman, Jharel Cotton, and Andrew Triggs to round out a staff fronted by Sonny Gray and Sean Manaea. The other 40-man members who could compete for a starting job are Jesse Hahn, Frankie Montas, and Paul Blackburn.