Jharel Cotton had planned to build off a promising rookie campaign for the Oakland Athletics.
He’ll have to wait another year.
The 26-year-old righty will undergo elbow surgery and not pitch in 2018, a setback for a young club trying to improve on a last-place finish.
”It’s tough. I’m missing the 2018 season with my boys, so it’s kind of hard to take. I’m trying to take it as best as I can and just get ready for the long process, the long road that’s ahead,” Cotton said Saturday.
Cotton had been diagnosed with a sprain and had a second scan Friday, then was told he would need Tommy John surgery.
Cotton was 9-10 with a 5.58 ERA average in 24 starts. This spring, he had a 3.75 ERA in four exhibitions, striking out 16 in 12 innings.
”Unfortunate. Just of him having to go through what a lot of guys have to go through,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. ”But we felt like he was on the cusp of really coming into his own and it’s going to be delayed a year, unfortunately.”
The A’s figure to go into the 2018 season with Kendall Graveman, Sean Manaea and Daniel Mengden in the rotation. Paul Blackburn and Andrew Triggs also have made starts in spring training games, as has prized prospect A.J. Puk.
ELSEWHERE AROUND THE GRAPEFRUIT AND CACTUS LEAGUES
BLUE JAYS (SS) 5, ORIOLES 2
Newly signed Danny Espinosa had four singles in his Toronto debut and Kevin Pillar had three hits. Adam Jones hit his second homer for Baltimore.
Another split squad of Blue Jays beat the Canadian Junior National Team 11-3 in a game full of familiar names. In the lineup for the Blue Jays were five players – Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Dwight Smith Jr. and Kacy Clemens – whose fathers all played in the big leagues. Braden Halladay, the 17-year-old son of the late Roy Halladay, pitched a perfect inning of relief against Toronto.
METS 9, NATIONALS 7
Adam Eaton homered in his first game for Washington since tearing his knee last April. Bryce Harper had a hit from the leadoff spot. Nationals starter Tanner Roark gave up three runs on four hits and three walks in three innings.
Wilmer Flores had three hits, including his second home run, for New York. Jay Bruce doubled and singled.
MARLINS 6, ASTROS 6, 9 INNINGS
Houston starter Charlie Morton gave up four runs, just one of them earned, in 4 2/3 innings. It was the first run he’s allowed in three starts this spring. Marlins opening day starter Jose Urena threw three shutout innings.
The Astros scored six times in the ninth to tie it. Kyle Tucker had a two-run single and Anibal Sierra hit a grand slam.
TIGERS 9, YANKEES 3
Masahiro Tanaka continued to struggle in his third start for New York, pitching 2 2/3 innings and allowing four runs on four hits and a walk, striking out six. Miguel Cabrera and Leonys Martin homered for Detroit and Victor Martinez finished Tanaka’s day with an RBI single.
Matthew Boyd, in the mix for the Tigers‘ final rotation spot, tossed three innings and gave up three runs on five hits and two walks, striking out five.
RED SOX 4, RAYS 3
Sam Travis hit a three-run homer for Boston, the fourth time he’s connected this spring. Mitch Moreland added a solo shot. Brad Miller, playing for the first time since Feb. 23 because of a broken toe, doubled twice for Tampa Bay.
CARDINALS 3, BRAVES (SS) 0
Luke Weaver, competing for an end-of-the-rotation spot, started for St. Louis and threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out six. Atlanta closer Sam Freeman pitched a perfect eighth, striking out one. Freeman has yet to allow a run in six appearances this spring.
PHILLIES 10, BRAVES (SS) 6
Carlos Santana had two hits, including a home run, while leading off for Philadelphia. Starter Zach Elfin allowed four runs and six hits in four innings.
PIRATES 13, TWINS 5
Minnesota starter Phil Hughes was tagged for nine runs and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings. Jose Osuna drove in three runs with a pair of singles and Jordan Luplow homered and hit an RBI double in Pittsburgh’s nine-run fourth.
Chad Kuhl, started for the Pirates, pitching 4 1/3 innings and giving up three runs on five hits and two walks.
ROYALS (SS) 7, RANGERS (SS) 6
Kansas City newcomer Lucas Duda hit a three-run homer and Jorge Soler followed with a shot in the first inning against Bartolo Colon. The 44-year-old Colon pitched four innings, allowing five runs on seven hits. Mike Moustakas had two hits, including his first home run of the spring, in his second game since re-signing with the Royals.
INDIANS (SS) 5, CUBS (SS) 1
Roberto Perez hit a grand slam for Cleveland’s split squad. Trevor Bauer started for the Indians, pitching five innings and allowing one run on six hits and a walk, striking out seven. Ben Zobrist hit his first home run of the spring for Chicago’s split squad and Kyle Schwarber added a triple and a double.
BREWERS 4, ROCKIES 3
Jeff Bandy, trying to become Milwaukee’s backup catcher, had two hits, including his first home run. Zach Davies allowed one run in 3 1/3 innings. Antonio Senzatela, competing for a spot in Colorado’s rotation, gave up four unearned runs – set up by his own fielding error – on six hits in 3 2/3 innings.
WHITE SOX 5, DODGERS 2
Hyun-Jin Ryu struggled in his second start for Los Angeles, pitching three innings and surrendering five runs on seven hits and two walks. Ryu’s ERA is 14.29. Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen threw a perfect fifth and Chase Utley homered.
Miguel Gonzalez started for Chicago, tossing 5 1/3 innings and giving up two runs on six hits and a walk, fanning four. Avisail Garcia had two doubles among his three hits.
REDS 5, GIANTS (SS) 4
Scott Schebler had two hits and two RBIs and Devin Mesoraco had two hits and scored twice for Cincinnati. Chris Stratton struggled in a start for San Francisco, pitching 4 1/3 innings and allowing four runs on six hits while striking out four. Buster Posey homered for the first time this spring for the Giants.
MARINERS (SS) 4, ATHLETICS (SS) 1
Two-time All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who signed Monday, made his debut for Oakland and grounded out twice. A’s starter Sean Manaea gave up one run in 4 2/3 innings. Casey Lawrence pitched well in his fifth appearance – but first start – for Seattle, striking out four in four shutout innings.
MARINERS (SS) 7, ANGELS 0
Marco Gonzales strengthened his chances of earning the fifth spot in Seattle’s rotation, pitching 5 2/3 shutout innings. He gave up one hit and lowered his spring ERA to 1.10.
Kyle Seager, Mike Zunino and Dan Vogelbach homered for the Mariners. Vogelbach has connected four times and is competing for the starting job at first base with Ryon Healy. Making his first appearance this spring after undergoing surgery to remove a bone spur in his right hand on Feb. 14, Healy had an RBI double.
Andrelton Simmons went 0 for 3 leading off for Los Angeles and is hitting .158.
PADRES 3, DIAMONDBACKS 3, 9 INNINGS
Paul Goldschmidt hit his second home run for Arizona. Robbie Erlin, trying to earn a spot at the back of San Diego’s rotation, pitched 3 2/3 innings, giving up one run and striking out four. Hunter Renfroe hit his fourth home run for the Padres.
ROYALS (SS) 5, RANGERS (SS) 5, 9 INNINGS
Kansas City’s 2017 first-round pick Nick Pratto homered in his first career spring training game. Nomar Mazara had two hits for Texas, and Delino DeShields had a hit and two walks. Trevor Oaks pitched three scoreless innings for the Royals.
ATHLETICS (SS) 8, GIANTS (SS) 3
Infield prospect Sheldon Neuse hit his fourth homer of the spring to lift Oakland. Neuse had two hits, including a two-run shot off starter Ty Blach, and raised his spring OPS to .958. Hunter Pence had two hits for the Giants, but Blach allowed seven runs in five innings.