Athletics pitchers Sean Newcomb and Freddy Tarnok slowly recovering from surgeries

Injury bug hits Oakland Athletics pitchers as Sean Newcomb and Freddy Tarnok progress slower than anticipated

Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Dodgers
Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Dodgers / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

As the Oakland Athletics start to get ramped up in Arizona, a couple pitchers are lagging behind with the injury bug. We'd already heard that Ken Waldichuk wouldn't be ready for opening day but Martin Gallegos of has reported that Sean Newcomb and Freddy Tarnok are also progressing slower than anticipated.

Newcomb underwent two separate knee surgeries in the past six months, the most recent of which was in December. According to the initial report, Newcomb had lingering issues in his right knee after undergoing surgery on his left knee back in September.

After the second procedure took place, Newcomb was expected to be on a timeline that would have him ready by opening day. That's still possible, as we're just two days into pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training.

Freddy Tarnok underwent hip surgery back in August to repair labrum and cartilage damage sustained over the summer. Like Newcomb, Tarnok was expected to be ready to go by the start of spring training, though it appears that he's a bit behind schedule.

Waldichuk was cleared to start a throwing program earlier this week but there won't be enough time for him to ramp up ahead of opening day. According to Gallegos, Waldichuk is currently slated to start throwing bullpen sessions toward the end of March.

Waldichuk's injury was a bit more concerning than the other two as he underwent flexor tendon surgery to repair an injury in his throwing elbow. Anything involving the UCL is a bit suspicious and many pitchers who opt for non-Tommy John procedures often find their way back on the operating table a short time later.

We'll have to be hopeful that Waldichuk's issue doesn't progress any further because losing him for a full 12 months to a Tommy John or internal brace procedure would be a significant blow to the pitching staff.

Waldichuk will miss opening day and we're unsure if Tarnok was going to make the opening day roster out of camp, but Newcomb was expected to be in the A's bullpen at the start of the season.

The A's most recent bullpen addition, Scott Alexander, is also a lefty so he'll likely fill Newcomb's role should the latter miss time on the IL.