UPDATE: Welp, bad news: A.J. Puk will undergo Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery. Dr. James Andrews said so. Puk, who was presumed to make his big league debut this year will now have to wait until the second half of the 2019 season at least.
Tuesday 7:08PM: Athletics pitching prospect A.J. Puk may have a ligament issue in his left elbow, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Puk, who is believed to have gone for second opinions, may eventually need Tommy John surgery.
The Athletics shut Puk down with what was termed “biceps soreness” last Wednesday. He put together a solid spring showing, giving up five runs (four earned) on seven hits and six walks with seven strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings. Puk gave up all four of those earned runs in his final appearance on March 15 against the Mariners, when the A’s noticed his velocity was down.
While Puk was unlikely to have made the Opening Day roster if he had stayed healthy, he might have been an early call-up. MLB Pipeline ranks Puk as the Athletics’ No. 1 prospect in the system.