The A’s starting rotation got walloped with bad news Monday with the determination that right-hander Jarrod Parker will miss the 2014 season.
Parker, who has been dealing with right forearm discomfort, met with Dr. James Andrews Monday in Florida, and the decision has been made that Parker needs Tommy John-style ligament replacement surgery.
It’s the second go-around with Tommy John surgery for Parker, who had it in 2009 and missed the 2010 season. He’s scheduled to under the surgery a week from Tuesday in Pensacola with Andrews in charge.
The A’s are already missing starter A.J. Griffin to being the season. He needs three weeks rest for elbow strain before he throws again
Scott Kazmir was scratched from his start Monday, but his triceps stiffness is considered relatively minor and he could start again Tuesday or Wednesday.
Since Parker was the favorite to start on opening day, the A’s will have to look elsewhere. The two candidates are Sonny Gray and Kazmir, assuming he’s healthy. Kazmir has not allowed a run in seven spring innings, while Gray, who was hit around by the Reds Sunday, has a 6.30 ERA in 10 innings.The A’s do have some pitching depth. Tommy Milone, who won 25 games the last two seasons, now is a lock in the rotation as is Jesse Chavez, who has started just twice in 191 career games.
“We’re not going to have Jarrod Parker in 2014,’’ A’s assistant general manager David Forst said. “The first thing is we feel bad for him.’’
There is a relatively small sample size to determine the success rate of pitchers who have had multiple Tommy John operations, but it’s becoming more and more frequent.
“It’s come up a couple of times now just in the last week,’’ Forst acknowledged. “So it’s hard to predict on pitchers have a second Tommy John. But it is becoming more frequent.’’
Parker flew back from Florida to Arizona late Monday and is expected to be in the Oakland clubhouse Tuesday morning.
Forst said he didn’t talk with Parker but that he was standing with trainer Nick Paparesta when the trainer was talking with Parker, “and he (Parker) was obviously upset.’’
The A’s could have traded Milone this winter when it seemed as if he was getting squeezed out of the rotation, but it was just this kind of eventuality the club had in mind when Milone was kept around.
“This is why we stretched out Jesse Chavez this spring,’’ Forst said. “And this is why we didn’t trade Milone in the off-season when people were saying we had too much starting pitching.
“The need for (pitching) depth is always there. In this care, the five starters didn’t make it to opening day.’’
Forst said the team had no plans at this point to explore the trade market. The club could turn to Drew Pomeranz or Josh Lindblom to start if Chavez or Milone don’t pan out. Both Pomeranz (Rockies) and Lindblom (Rangers) started at times last year. Oakland also has high hopes for Arnold Leon, who is on the 40-man roster and who was 5-3 with a 4.42 ERA 12 games, 11 starts, for Triple-A Sacramento last year.