It’s been a rough day for the A’s starting rotation, as expected Opening Day starter Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin are both headed for the disabled list to begin the season.
Parker has a forearm injury and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that he’s traveling to Alabama on Monday to be examined by Dr. James Andrews, which is every fans least favorite thing to hear. Griffin has an elbow injury and Slusser says he’s being examined today in Arizona by a different doctor.
Parker and Griffin both had similar arm issues late last season, and Parker has already come back from Tommy John elbow surgery once. Jesse Chavez and Tommy Milone are the likely rotation replacements and Sonny Gray might get the Opening Day assignment with just 10 regular season starts to his name.
And now the A’s will hope that Parker and Griffin don’t follow Braves starters Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy in being eligible for 2-for-1 surgeries.
The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.
Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.
As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.
Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.
The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”