Athletics starter A.J. Griffin was shut down for three weeks during spring training in mid-March with flexor tendinitis in his right elbow. Initially, the Athletics thought they’d dodged a bullet, but a source told CSN Bay Area’s Joe Stiglich that the right-hander will indeed undergo Tommy John surgery. Susan Slusser reports that assistant GM David Forst has refuted Stiglich’s report.
In the event that Griffin would need the surgery, he would join teammate Jarrod Parker as A’s pitchers to have undergone the procedure. Parker had his operation performed on March 25. It typically takes between a year and a year and a half for a pitcher to recover from Tommy John surgery, so Griffin wouldn’t be back until this time next season, if not later.
In 200 innings over 32 starts last season, Griffin posted a 3.83 ERA but was not on the team’s playoff roster in the ALDS against the Tigers.
Major League Baseball has announced the umpiring crew for the World Series. John Hirschbeck is the crew chief. It’s his fifth World Series assignment, third as a crew chief.
A surprising name on the crew is Joe West. It’ll be his sixth World Series overall, but first since 2012. There had been chatter for several years that Major League Baseball was making a more concerted effort to get its best umpires into the World Series more often while minimizing the appearances of its weakest umpires. Most assumed West’s absence from the Fall Classic in recent years, despite his seniority, was a function of that. Maybe they’re still making merit a priority and maybe West has just improved? I’ll leave that for you to judge.
Anyway, here is the lineup of umps for Game 1. They will rotate after that, of course. If the series goes six games, Cowboy Joe will be calling the balls and strikes:
Home plate: Larry Vanover
1B: Chris Guccione
2B: John Hirschbeck
3B: Marvin Hudson
LF: Tony Randazzo
RF: Joe West
Replay Official for Games 1-2: Sam Holbrook (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)
Replay Official for Games 3-7: Larry Vanover (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)