Griffin to get second opinion on elbow
HOUSTON — A’s right-hander A.J. Griffin, sidelined by a flexor strain for nearly six weeks, will get a second opinion on his pitching elbow in Houston next week.
The A’s hoped rest would be the cure for Griffin’s ongoing discomfort, felt since the later stages of last season, but it was still there when he attempted to begin a throwing program this week.
“He’s throwing a little bit and not feeling much better,” manager Bob Melvin said Thursday in Houston.
Now there’s concern that the issue, once believed to simply be a bout of tendinitis, could lead to surgery.
Griffin will meet with the Houston-based Dr. Thomas Mehlhoff on Tuesday to decide if that’s necessary. Mehlhoff performed Tommy John surgery on A’s reliever Fernando Rodriguez on March 27, 2013, and Rodriguez is nearing the end of what’s been a very successful rehab process.
Griffin, 26, was 14-10 with a 3.83 ERA in 32 starts in his first full season in the Majors last year, compiling a team-best 200 innings. But he was left off the American League Division Series roster because of elbow issues, which never went away. They only worsened with each start in Spring Training, and the A’s opted to send him for tests with Dr. Doug Freedberg, who suggested the pitcher undergo platelet-rich plasma therapy.
Griffin, originally penciled in as the club’s No. 4 starter entering spring, did just that and was initially expected to return to the rotation in late May or early June — an encouraging prognosis for a team that knew it would already be without righty Jarrod Parker, who succumbed to his second Tommy John surgery, for the entire season.
Suddenly Griffin could be facing the same fate, though the A’s remain equipped with an enviable rotation that entered the day with an AL-best 2.80 ERA.