Ruh-roh. Josh Johnson will be examined by Dr. James Andrews today after experiencing more discomfort in his shoulder following a lackluster bullpen session on Friday. Team president Larry Beinfest said “it’s not great,” but everyone is still making “it’s precautionary” noises for now.
Shoulders are way scarier than elbows. Just thought I should throw that out there. And here’s hoping that Dr. Andrews just throws Johnson out of his office, laughing at the fact that they even bothered to schedule the exam over such nothings.
Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.
This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 24-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.