By Jason Wojciechowski on October 14, 2013 at 8:20 PM
(Read the title in John Oliver's voice from The Bugle Podcast.)
Check Susan Slusser and Jane Lee or let me summarize for those without the time, inclination, or love in their hearts required to click: Josh Reddick and Sonny Gray are gettin' cut by doctors, recovery time one month and a few months, respectively (though you won't find Gray's recovery time in those stories—for an "8 to 10 weeks" quote, see Joe Stiglich). Also, Jarrod Parker has a strained forearm and will rest.
From most alarming to least:
Parker being hurt in an area on his pitching arm that we sometimes associate with a precursor to Tommy John surgery (recall Brett Anderson's forearm strain, e.g.) is apt to make us nervous. On the flip side, he threw more than 200 innings (counting playoffs and minors) for the second straight season, and he's not an overly large man, so it's plausible to think that he just wore down at the end of the season, lost his mechanics a little, and put some extra stress on his arm that didn't need to be there. The last game of the season is the perfect time to come up lame with a strain because there's no temptation to come back early to do anything in particular. There's rest built right into the schedule.
Everything I said yesterday about pitching depth in the starting rotation goes right out the window in Parker isn't effective or healthy in 2014 because he's not on the A.J. Griffin / Tom Milone / Dan Straily side of things. The A's need him to be their no. 3 (behind Bartolo Colon and Sonny Gray, and why yes I am wildly optimistic about Gray).
There's a big gap between my worry about Parker's pitching arm and my worry about Reddick's wrist. We've known he's been hurting all year and we've known or assumed that he would have surgery just as soon as the season ended. One might wish, if this is really only going to keep him out a month, that he'd simply had the surgery during the year, let Chris Young play right field, and come back 100 percent in June or whenever. Instead we got a Josh Reddick who could do everything he always did on defense but who had no pop (.153 ISO this year vs. .221 in 2012) to prop up his typically weak batting average and on-base percentage. Reddick's 2012 was overrated by some because of the sexy 32 homers masking his .305 OBP, but in the end, adding in park and totaling everything up, he had a .277 TAv, a bit above average for his position—when you add well-above-average defense to a-tad-above-average offense, you get a very good player. When you add well-above-average defense to a-tad-below-average offense, you get someone who's worth the money he's being paid but isn't a team anchor.
Surgery isn't magic, and one hopes that Reddick didn't get himself into any unfixable bad habits at the plate, approach-wise, but I'm hopeful about the possibility of a .250/.310/.450 offensive season in 2014.
Sonny Gray screwed up the thumb on his glove hand in Game 5. Glove hands are wildly overrated. Ain't no thing.