Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Griffin to have Surgery Wednesday, Details Still Shrouded in Mystery

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Since it was reported last week that Oakland A's pitcher A.J. Griffin was seeking a second opinion on his injured elbow. There have been varying reports as to what is to become of the pitcher and his fate for the 2014 season. At first it was will he require surgery at all or just more rehabilitation? Originally diagnosed with flexor tendinitis but having made no real progress in six weeks, Griffin decided on the second opinion.

Then a few days ago  it was reported by CSN Bay Area's Joe Stiglich that Griffin was having Tommy John surgery on Tuesday (what would have been today). That report was then refuted by the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser who spoke with A's assistant general manager David Forst who said that no plans were made for surgery and that Griffin's appointment with Dr. Melhoff was only scheduled for Tuesday (today).

Well Slusser has now confirmed that Griffin will in-fact have season ending surgery but what type has not yet been specified or if it has it has not been released to the public.
In her most recent report for the San Francisco Chronicle of less than an hour ago, Slusser says that not even A's manager Bob Melvin knows the specifics of the surgery. Slusser writes that the surgery could be,
"a Tommy John procedure – the most common elbow surgery – or could involve other elbow ligaments besides the ulnar collateral ligament, or could involve the flexor tendon. Then there are all the unknowns such as cartilage damage, etc. Dr. Thomas Mehlhoff will perform the procedure."
In any case any elbow surgery will end Griffin's 2014 season before it even began. He is expected to return no later than mid season 2015. No specific timeline will be known until the type of surgery he is having is known.
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Melvin did say that he had an idea of who would be next in line if another starter needs to be replaced. Besides Griffin, starter Jarrod Parker is out for the season having had Tommy John surgery during spring training. In their steads Jesse Chavez and Tommy Milone have stepped into the rotation. Chavez has been a virtual ace for the A's and Milone has held his own. In the case another starter is needed Melvin said that it will not be long reliever Drew Pomeranz who is comfortable in his role and currently not stretched out enough to move into starting duties. Since the A's will need an extra starter for their double header next week Slusser tweeted that it will likely be Josh Lindbloom or Arnold Leon. Lindbloom pitched the one game of the A's first double header earlier this month.
At least the Athletics have a plan on starter depth. Losing two starters for the year can be a big blow to a team but so far the A's haven't missed a beat. They are currently sitting atop the AL West at 16-10. Still, although the A's are prepared and ready to continue their strong season, one has to wonder what is with all the secrecy surrounding Griffin's surgery?? 

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