The news just keeps getting worse for Oakland A’s prospect A.J. Puk.
This was supposed to be a time of celebration for the Oakland A’s. Prospect A.J. Puk was supposed to have passed his last test in his return to the mound and was to be making his triumphant return to the majors. In theory, Puk would be another boost to the A’s strong bullpen, helping the team through the grueling end to their season.
Instead, Puk never made his final tune up on Sunday. He was shut down before the outing as he again felt soreness in his shoulder, the same one that had kept him on the sideline all season.
The A’s are understandably concerned. Puk is slated to see Dr. Neal ElAttrache at some point this week to determine a course of action going forward.
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This is obviously not the news that anyone wanted. Even though he was shut down, the hope was that Puk would be okay within a day or two. Another session on the mound, or maybe two, and he would be back.
Instead, the A’s may not get Puk at all this season. While a visit to Dr. ElAttrache is not always a death knell for a pitcher, it is also not usually a positive.
This is a needed move for Puk and the A’s. His shoulder has been a problem since the first spring training, as he would have begun the year on the Injured List if the season started on time. He has felt well enough to start throwing once again, but as soon as he is close, that shoulder starts acting up once more.
It is unfortunate given the type of pitcher that Puk could be. His fastball/slider combo could make him a dominant power lefty in the A’s bullpen. Instead, the A’s have to hope that he will, at the very worst, be ready at the start of the 2021 season.
The Oakland A’s are sending A.J. Puk to see Dr. Neal ElAttrache. This is not the news they had been hoping to announce regarding Puk, especially when he seemed so close to a return to the majors.