UPDATE: Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle says Griffin’s MRI turned up clean.
4:57 PM: Lee reports that Griffin exited due to right shoulder tightness.
4:46 PM: According to Jane Lee of MLB.com, Athletics right-hander A.J. Griffin left his start against the Blue Jays this afternoon in the top of the second inning with an apparent injury.
No word yet on the exact nature of the injury, but Griffin’s velocity took a pretty big dip over his final couple of pitches. He was visited on the mound by Athletics manager Bob Melvin and team trainer Nick Paparesta before being replaced by Jordan Norberto. Not what you want after last night’s 15-inning marathon.
Griffin has been a nice surprise for the A’s since making his major league debut on June 24, posting a 2.42 ERA and 35/10 K/BB ratio in 44 2/3 innings. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle notes that Brandon McCarthy is slated to make his latest minor league rehab start with Triple-A Sacramento tonight, so he would be on his regular turn if needed. McCarthy has been sidelined since June 19 with a right shoulder strain.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.