With the notable exception of reliever Fernando Rodriguez, things are looking up for the A’s on the injury front.
Rodriguez has been diagnosed as having torn his ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow. And while he is looking at having a second opinion, the remedy is for him to have Tommy John-style ligament replacement surgery that will force him to miss the entire season.
It was going to be a tough spring anyway for Rodriguez, a 95-mph fastball thrower who came to the A’s from the Astros with Jed Lowrie in the Chris Carter trade, with the A’s already being extraordinarily full of quality bullpen depth.
Elsewhere, manager Bob Melvin said that opening day starter Brett Anderson, who has been dealing with neck and back issues, will return to the rotation Saturday. But while the A’s have a pair of Cactus League games that day – on the road against the White Sox and at home against the Angels – Anderson will pitch in a minor league game instead.
“We’re able to get him his pitches where we want,’’ Melvin said, adding that in a minor league game the club can control the quality of time Anderson spends on the mound better than can happen in a regular Cactus League game. Also it doesn’t hurt the A’s any that Anderson won’t face the Angels, a division rival he could face five or six times in the regular season.
Jemile Weeks was on the list for Thursday’s game against the Rangers after playing in a minor league game Wednesday to test his shoulder. Having passed the test, Weeks will get a start in Friday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“The minor league games are all behind me now,’’ Weeks said. “I’m ready to go.’’
Michael Taylor, trying to make the team as a backup at first base and in the outfield, has been sidelined by a lacerated finger, but he’s been cleared to play as well after being out for more than a week as the cuts healed.