The year of the Tommy John continues. Another pitcher will have to undergo this elbow reconstruction surgery. Athletics pitcher A.J. Griffin is the latest victim, sources tell Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com. Griffin was shut down from throwing five weeks ago, and his elbow still was bothering him after he recently tried throwing again. It is unknown right now what his exact injury is, but it must be serious enough to have to undergo Tommy John surgery. He will be the seventeenth victim of this surgery.
Griffin will become the second Athletics starter to be lost for the season due to reconstructive elbow surgery. The first Oakland pitcher to have this surgery was Athletics ace Jarrod Parker. He was in line to be the Opening Day starter for 2014, but had his second Tommy John surgery in March.
Griffin was originally diagnosed with a flexor muscle strain in his right pitching elbow back in the middle of March. The Athletics’ initial plan was to shut him down for about three weeks and then re-evaluate. He had been only doing strengthening exercises until he recently tried to throw.
This has not been officially announced, though, as Oakland manager Bob Melvin said that this week Griffin would go and see elbow specialist Dr. Thomas Mehlhoff on Tuesday for a second opinion on whether he should have the surgery or not. Last season, Griffin provided the Athletics with 200 innings of work out of the rotation along with a exceptional 3.83 ERA. Griffin did, however, allow the most home runs in the American League last season with thirty-six. To go along with his exceptional pitching, he recorded a 14-10 record. Over his two-year career, he has piled up 21 wins compared to 11 losses with a career 3.60 ERA, while boasting a quality 105 ERA+.
Even with the losses of Griffin and Parker, the Athletics rank first in the American League with a 2.74 rotation ERA. This is thanks to the efforts of Scott Kazmir, Dan Straily, Sonny Gray, Tommy Milone and the ever-surprising Jesse Chavez. Oakland may still look to acquire a quality arm for their rotation by the trade deadline this summer.
Editor’s Note: Despite reports circulating that Griffin’s surgery has been scheduled, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle is hearing otherwise directly from team officials. Initial reports yesterday suggested that Griffin will get a second opinion on his ailing elbow on Tuesday and the team is sticking to that plan.
#Athletics asst. GM David Forst refutes report that A.J. Griffin already slated for TJ surgery, saying no decision will be made until Tues.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) April 26, 2014