By Jason Wojciechowski on March 17, 2014 at 8:08 AM
Here's an experiment made theoretically possible by my the new blog software -- updating the blog no long requires, in any meaningful way, updating things. I don't run a script or update a database. I just edit a text file. So what I'll do is as I have some minutes here and there throughout the day, put in links and stories I see relevant to the A's. I don't know if this will work. It might end up dumb.
DOWN GOES PARKER DOWN GOES PARKER That's right kiddos and kiddees, Jarrod Parker will have Tommy John surgery for the second time in his life and miss the entirety of 2014. Say hello to your new favorite pitcher, Jesse Chavez.
Jane Lee helpfully puts together a list of pitchers who have had two Tommy John surgeries:
He's far from the only pitcher to undergo the elbow procedure twice. Former A's relievers Joey Devine and Jason Isringhausen are examples, as are Brian Wilson, Daniel Hudson, Ryan Madson, Kris Medlen and Cory Luebke.
I didn't remember this, but apparently Isringhausen had three surgeries.
That's what you call an uninspiring list. If Parker can come back to be Brian Wilson, well, great, but I'd rather have Trevor Cahill, though I suppose that ship sailed. Can we get the ship back? What if we shoot it with fire arrows?
You know I'm a pessimist, maybe to the point of it being obnoxious, but I can't figure there's more than a single-digit chance of Parker ever fulfilling his no. 2 starter upside at this point. If he can come back and be a solid setup man or back-of-the-rotation starter, well, I'll consider that a win for Dr. James Andrews and his team. Anyway, here's Cliff Corcoran with an in-depth look at the list of multiple-TJ pitchers. It won't make your mood any better, though there are a lot of caveats, mostly notably that not many players on the list were 27 after their second surgery, as Parker will be.
Christina Kahrl rightly questions whether the A's can survive all this. Two commenters hilariously suggest that Kahrl knows not of what she speaks with respect to the depth of the A's rotation. I mean, I understand the Drew Pomeranz Kool-Aid, but when someone else isn't drinking it, that's at least as rational as figuring he's going to step right in when yet another injury strikes and be what he was supposed to be.
Sean Davis mentioned Barry Zito, which is a good illustration of where the collective mindset of A's fans probably is. Insert frown-y emoticon.
Want more good pitcher arm news? Scott Kazmir's left triceps is sore. Or stiff. It's "very minor." Whatever, it's all terrible, the A's are going to win 80 games and be boring. WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE.
Legitimate good news is that Craig Gentry can finally play baseball, though it's looking like maybe he'll spend a week or two on the disabled list to start the year. Jane Lee says this would allow the A's to put Sam Fuld on the roster, though that's only half the battle because Fuld isn't on the 40-man roster, either. On the other hand, well, see Jarrod Parker above -- he'll be hitting the 60-day disabled list the moment the A's need a 40-man spot, so they're not going to have to designate anyone for assignment to get him on.
I guess that's actually superfluous, now that I think about it, because Fuld is basically competing with Michael Taylor. If Fuld wins, Taylor is out of options, so he'll have to be designated and thus removed from the 40, which opens the spot for Fuld.
So hey, who's going to get Parker's 40-man spot? For now, the answer is probably "nobody." Eventually, it could be Philip Humber or, if the A's manage to hold the fort for the first half or so, maybe Parker's spot won't even be needed until Eric O'Flaherty is ready.
Susan Slusser has some scout sources who say that the A's might actually be able to trade Michael Taylor, not just lose him on waivers. It'd be neat to get even just a little cash or something for him. That piece also says that Jesse Chavez > Tom Milone in the A's eyes, so expect Milone to be the odd man out when A.J. Griffin comes back, not Chavez. That's of course assuming Kazmir is still throwing a baseball at that point.
I think this Susan Slusser story is from today's paper. The lead part is about Yoenis Cespedes struggling with his new-ish swing and sounding a bit flummoxed and annoyed by the whole thing. I want to say that I'm not worried because it can't be worse than last year, but don't forget that he still managed an isolated power above .200, a True Average of .279, and 2.2 WARP despite playing left field, not rating well at it per FRAA, and missing about 25 games with various injuries. This is to say that it can always get worse.
Here's a good piece from Mike Petriello about the folly of pitching through pain and why it happens anyway. Relevant in a big way to Jarrod Parker (who Petriello specifically names) and perhaps to A.J. Griffin as well. Relevant in general to baseball fans who want to see the best possible product on the field.
Chris St. John aggregates prospect rankings to come up with the A's consensus Top 51. Addison Russell is, of course, not only the consensus no. 1, but the unanimous no. 1. Daniel Robertson, who you'll recall I mentioned yesterday, comes in fourth. Michael Ynoa is fifth, which may say more about the A's minor league system than it does about Ynoa.