It was easy to think the worst when right-hander A.J. Griffin was sent to a doctor yesterday due to elbow soreness, but the Athletics received some favorable news today.
According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Griffin was diagnosed with right flexor tendinitis and will be shut down for three weeks. This is a similar issue to what he dealt with late last year, which caused him to be left off the A’s playoff roster. While he might receive a platelet-rich plasma treatment, the good news here is that no structural damage was found.
Things could have been much worse for Griffin, but there’s no word yet on the status of Jarrod Parker, who is dealing with forearm soreness. As of now, the Athletics figure to begin the season with Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, Dan Straily, Jesse Chavez, and Tommy Milone in their rotation.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.