Athletics right-hander Daniel Mengden underwent arthroscopic surgery on his pitching elbow Monday, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Mengden will miss at least two months as a result, making it likely he’ll begin the season on the 60-day injured list, according to Slusser.
The 26-year-old Mengden divided last season between the A’s and their Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas, totaling 13 appearances for both teams. He started nine games for Oakland and pitched to a 4.83 ERA/4.69 FIP with ugly strikeout, walk and groundball rates over 59 2/3 innings. Mengden fanned 6.34 hitters per nine, walked 4.07 and induced grounders at a 36.3 percent clip. He was much better in those categories in the minors (8.58 K/9, 2.82 BB/9, 51.4 percent GB rate), but his run prevention was somewhat similar. Mengden wound up with a 4.22 ERA/4.55 FIP across 64 frames and 10 starts.
While Mengden has mostly been a starter in the majors since he came on the scene in 2016, he’d have been in line to compete for a bullpen spot this spring. The A’s, after all, have plenty of other rotation candidates or locks (Frankie Montas, Sean Manaea, Mike Fiers, Jesus Luzardo, Chris Bassitt and A.J. Puk are among them). It’s now up in the air whether Mengden will throw another pitch as a member of the organization, considering he’s out of minor league options. But if he does go on the 60-day IL, Oakland will save a 40-man roster spot and put that decision on hold.