Athletics assistant GM David Forst refutes report that A.J. Griffin will have Tommy John surgery


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.

Jharel Cotton to undergo Tommy John surgery

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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’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 26-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.