The risky nature of pitching claimed another A's hurler on Wednesday, although it appears A.J. Puk will be just fine.
Oakland's top prospect has been shut down with left biceps tendinitis, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Puk underwent an MRI that showed no major structural damage. The injury is not thought to be serious and, according to a source, the left-hander will resume throwing "sometime fairly soon."
The news came on the same day that A's right-hander Jharel Cotton underwent Tommy John surgery.
Puk last pitched Sunday, when he allowed four runs over 2 2/3 innings -- all coming in the final frame. They were the only runs the 22-year-old allowed in 10 2/3 Cactus League innings. Overall, Puk posted a 3.38 ERA in four spring appearances, including three starts. MLB.com's No. 32 overall prospect was throwing 93-94 mph during his last start, according to scouts. He had been clocked as high as 97-98 in earlier outings.
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The A's assigned Puk to Minor League camp following Sunday's start.
"We have several guys pitching pretty well right now, so he's better off getting some innings down there now and refining his craft, which he's done very well up to this point," A's manager Bob Melvin told MLB.com. "We'll see where his timing is, but he had a very impressive camp."
Drafted sixth overall out of the University of Florida in 2016, Puk enjoyed a solid professional debut before taking part in his first full-season campaign in 2017. The Iowa native posted a 4.03 ERA and ranked third in the Minor Leagues with 184 strikeouts over 125 innings in 27 appearances, including 24 starts, for Class A Advanced Stockton and Double-A Midland.
Puk could begin the year with Triple-A Nashville.