Oakland Athletics: A.J. Puk to undergo Tommy John Surgery

MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 22: A.J. Puk /

Oakland Athletics’ top pitching prospect A.J. Puk will undergo Tommy John Surgery and miss the 2018 season

The Oakland Athletics may be close to being very competitive very quickly. They’ve brought up guys like Matt Chapman and Matt Olson last season and have some other quality prospects coming through trades, and their draft picks.

One of their picks was former first-round pick and highly regarded left-hander A.J. Puk — the 32nd ranked prospect in the game according to MLBpipeline.com.

More from Call to the Pen

With the way he looked during Spring Training, it was certainly possible that Puk could find himself in the show at some point this season. As they say about the best-laid plans, sometimes things don’t work out.

Puk between A+ and AA last year went 6-10 with a 4.03 ERA, however, he struck out 184 batters in just 127 innings of work. In four games this spring, he was 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA.

He had only given up a total of one run in his first four outings, then got shelled for four runs in 2.2 innings back on March 15 and was shut down after that.

Next: Top 10 Padres Prospects

This is a really big blow to the Oakland Athletics. It’s a team that already doesn’t have a ton of starting pitching and now loses its top pitching prospect for the entire season and into next year as well.

With Jharel Cotton already on the shelf for Tommy John, the Atheltics have to hope that others in their rotation can step and take that next step like Sean Manaea and Kendall Graveman and that prospects like Grant Holmes and Jesus Luzardo can stay healthy and take the next steps in their development as well.