Mike Fiers injury may be worse than Oakland A’s expected

May 6, 2021; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics pitching coach Scott Emerson, left, confers with starting pitcher Mike Fiers (50) and catcher Sean Murphy (12) during the third inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports
May 6, 2021; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics pitching coach Scott Emerson, left, confers with starting pitcher Mike Fiers (50) and catcher Sean Murphy (12) during the third inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports /
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There were all sorts of theories about Mike Fiers when he was placed on the Injured List. Given that the Oakland A’s were set to face the Astros shortly after his being shelved, there was speculation that his sprained elbow was nothing more than a handy excuse to hide him from Houston. The same was said last year when Fiers did not face Houston after blowing the lid off of AstroGate, adding credence to this conspiracy theory.

So much for those thoughts. Contrary to those theories, Fiers is actually injured, to the point where the A’s transferred him to the 60 day IL on Friday.

Mike Fiers season has to be in question

The A’s have not provided any further updates about Fiers aside from this change in status. However, this move may speak volumes. It is possible that his elbow is worse than the A’s have let on, to the point where it is fair to wonder if his season will be in question.

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Fiers had initially been brought back as a depth option, signing a one year deal worth $3.5 million in February. Although he had struggled in 2020, and was set to miss time at the start of the year as he worked his way into shape, he was expected to fill a key role either as the A’s fifth starter or as a long reliever/depth option in case of injury.

That plan seemed to be working out well as the A’s dealt with injuries in the rotation. However, Fiers was ineffective before landing on the IL, allowing eight runs on 15 hits, including four homers, and four walks over his 9.1 innings, striking out five batters. It was fair to wonder if something was wrong at that point.

Fortunately for the A’s, they have plenty of depth remaining. With a solid group of prospects on the cusp of the majors, losing Fiers for an extended period of time is not as big of a blow as it could have been. Nonetheless, they will still miss his experience and veteran presence in the rotation.

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The Oakland A’s have transferred Mike Fiers to the 60 day Injured List. His sprained right elbow may be even worse than originally thought.

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