Parker, Griffin in danger of not starting season with A's

Parker, Griffin in danger of not starting season with A's
March 14, 2014, 12:15 pm
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The A's could be without Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin to begin the season. (AP)

Programming note:A’s Insider Joe Stiglich is in Arizona; check back for his coverage throughout spring training and watch SportsNet Central nightly at 6 and 10:30 p.m. for all the day’s MLB news.

SURPRISE, Ariz. – The A’s face the prospect of beginning the regular season without two of their top starting pitchers.

Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin are both scheduled to see doctors for arm injuries, and manager Bob Melvin said both could miss the start of the season.

“We’re two weeks from the start of the season, so they’re both in jeopardy of not starting the season,” Melvin said before Friday’s game against the Kansas City Royals.

Parker, a leading candidate to take the ball Opening Night, has what Melvin described as forearm “soreness or tightness,” and he’ll head to Alabama to be examined by elbow specialist Dr. James Andrews on Monday. Andrews performed Parker’s “Tommy John” elbow surgery in October 2009, when he was still a prospect in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ organization. He missed the entire 2010 season.

Any trouble with the forearm is a warning sign of a potential problem in the elbow area. The fact that Parker also experienced elbow fatigue last postseason, and is experiencing problems again after an offseason of rest, has got to be worrisome for the A’s.

Parker has allowed 11 earned runs over three exhibition starts.

“We felt confident he was over the issues he had last year,” Melvin said. “Then when he started pitching in games, it took him a while to get loose. He was playing catch yesterday, and he just didn’t look like he was feeling great about it. So I called him in to talk and he admitted his forearm was a little tight. We’re gonna be proactive.”

Griffin, who won 14 games for Oakland last season, has elbow soreness. He will visit Dr. Doug Freedberg in Phoenix on Friday and have an MRI.