Oakland, CA, United States (4E Sports) – The Oakland A’s have suffered a big blow to their starting rotation after it was determined that Jarrod Parker will undergo his second Tommy John surgery and will miss the whole 2014 season.
The 25-year-old right hander, who was in line to make his first career Opening Day start, will go under the knife March 25 and will need 12 to 18 months to rehabilitate.
“Obviously we feel bad for Jarrod,” said A’s assistant general manager David Forst. “I know he worked hard this offseason after having some struggles at the end of the year and was hoping to be at the top of the rotation this year.”
“Other than that, we can only play the hand that we’re dealt, and we obviously spent a lot of time putting together pitching depth coming into the year, and some guys are going to have to step up,” he added.
The A’s are already without A.J. Griffin, who will be out for the first month of the season due to muscle strain. Parker and Griffin combined for 397 innings last year.
Sonny Gray, who has just 12 big league starts under his belt, is likely to assume Opening Day duties, with Scott Kazmir, Jesse Chavez, Dan Straily and Tommy Milone filling out the rotation.
Parker, 25-16 with a 3.73 ERA in 61 starts for the A’s the last two years, experienced forearm discomfort for much of the last month of the 2013 season but entered camp feeling stronger than ever, having put on added muscle weight in an effort to avoid another round of late-season fatigue.
But he pitched to a 10.61 ERA in three starts this spring, before manager Bob Melvin noticed Parker struggling to get loose while playing catch on Friday. The two spoke shortly after, and it was decided right then that the pitcher would visit Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Florida Monday.
Andrews performed Parker’s first Tommy John surgery on Oct. 28, 2009, while he was still a member of the D-backs organization.