The worst-case scenario played out for the Oakland A's and Jarrod Parker on Monday. The team learned that Parker had UCL damage and would need Tommy John surgery. The A's right-hander will miss the entire 2014 season and part of his 2015 campaign could be in doubt. This will be Parker's second Tommy John surgery. The first came when he was with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2009.
It is a devastating blow for the A's, who were counting on Parker to lead their rotation after Oakland let Bartolo Colon leave via free agency and traded Brett Anderson. Parker had been slated to start on Opening Day for the first time in his career. He tossed 197 innings last season and posted a 3.97 ERA. Parker also had one start in the post-season.
A.J. Griffin is expected to miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season. With Parker out for the year and Griffin out at the start of the season, Tommy Milone and Jesse Chavez are likely to represent two-fifths of the A's rotation. Drew Pomeranz remains in the hunt for a rotation spot, as well.
Right now, the A's are publicly stating that they won't make any trades for starting pitching, but now that they know that Parker will be out for the year, the A's stance may change.
- RHP Zach Neal had another impressive performance in big league camp on Monday. Neal, up from minor league camp, tossed two scoreless innings versus the Chicago Cubs. He struck-out four and allowed only one hit in two innings. Neal previously threw 1.2 scoreless innings in an outing earlier this spring.
- RHP Paul Smyth, also up from minor league camp, tossed a scoreless inning. Jim Johnson, Sean Doolittle and Fernando Abad also had scoreless frames in the A's 6-2 win over the Cubs. Brandon Moss and Nick Punto each had two hits and Eric Sogard had an RBI on a safety squeeze bunt. Billy Burns connected on a double.
- LHP Joe Savery got the start versus Chicago in place of Scott Kazmir, who was scratched with left bicep tendinitis. Savery worked two innings. None of the six outs he recorded came on batted balls (five strike-outs and one base-runner caught stealing). He allowed no runs on two hits and one walk. Savery has 11 strike-outs and five walks in 6.2 innings this spring.