A's Puk to undergo shoulder surgery
Left-hander A.J. Puk's season is over before it ever began. The top A's prospect will undergo shoulder surgery next week, manager Bob Melvin announced before Friday night's game at Texas.
The top A's prospect will undergo shoulder surgery next week, manager Bob Melvin announced before Friday night's game at Texas.
Beset by injuries since he was drafted sixth overall in 2016, Puk was slated to throw last weekend at the team's alternate training site in San Jose, California, but he was shut down due to soreness in his pitching shoulder.
“It's been a tough road for A.J.," Melvin told reporters. “Back and forth, ramping up, having to shut down. Obviously, there's something going on there he needs to take care of.”
MLB Pipeline's No. 59 overall prospect was expected to be part of the A's starting rotation after making his Major League debut last September. He went 2-0 with a 3.18 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 13 strikeouts over 11 1/3 innings in 10 relief appearances. That came after he was 4-1 with a 4.97 ERA in 18 games, including four starts, across three Minor League levels. Pitching for Class A Advanced Stockton, Double-A Midland and Triple-A Las Vegas, Puk averaged 13.5 strikeouts per nine innings.
The University of Florida product pitched sparingly in 2016, his debut season. He was 0-4 with a 3.03 ERA, .185 opponents' batting average and 40 strikeouts over 32 2/3 innings in 10 starts for Class A Short Season Vermont.
The following year, Puk ranked third in the Minor Leagues with 184 punchouts over 125 innings with Stockton and Midland, going 6-10 with a 4.03 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. He underwent Tommy John surgery in April 2018 and did not pitch again until June 2019.
Daren Smith is an editor for MiLB.com.