The A’s announced that right-hander A.J. Griffin will have season-ending surgery on his right elbow Wednesday in Houston.
Though the team isn’t saying it will be “Tommy John” surgery specifically, manager Bob Melvin told reporters it might very well turn out to be. The team won’t know the extent of the surgery until after it’s completed, but the estimate is Griffin will miss at least a calendar year regardless. And if it’s Tommy John surgery – where the ulnar collateral ligament is completely reconstructed -- the timeframe for recovery usually is anywhere from 12 to 18 months.
Comcast SportsNet California was first to report last week that Griffin was likely headed for season-ending surgery. He was shut down in mid-March after experiencing elbow pain while pitching in Cactus League games. The A’s original hope was that prolonged rest would solve the problem, but when Griffin recently tried to throw and still had discomfort, he went for a second opinion with Houston-based specialist Dr. Thomas Mehlhoff.
With Griffin headed for surgery, the A’s now know for certain they will be without two-fifths of their planned starting rotation for all of 2014. Jarrod Parker underwent his second “Tommy John” procedure March 25 and is currently rehabbing. Jesse Chavez and Tommy Milone have filled in for Parker and Griffin, and to this point, Oakland’s rotation has held up remarkably well. The A’s enter Tuesday’s game at Texas with the American League’s lowest rotation ERA at 2.89.