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Oakland A’s Starter to Undergo Elbow Surgery

Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Ken Waldichuk will be having elbow surgery on Wednesday. The A’s will decline to comment on any details until after the surgery. In a corresponding move, the A’s have selected right-handed pitcher Aaron Brooks to the major league roster. Brooks isn’t currently on the 40-man roster and will need to be added.

Ken Waldichuk Headed for Elbow Surgery

Impact on the A’s

The A’s have been hit with a flurry of injuries this week. Earlier today, the A’s had announced fellow starting pitcher Paul Blackburn had been put on the 15-day injured list. The A’s have been a surprise so far in 2024, sitting just two games under .500 as of writing. Losing both Waldichuk and Blackburn will certainly have an impact on the club, if nothing else but from an innings perspective.

Waldichuk hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this year, but it would seem most likely that won’t be happening in general now. After his last start in 2023, he was diagnosed with a flexor tendon strain, and UCL sprain. While it won’t be known for certain until after Wednesday, it wouldn’t be shocking to learn he won’t pitch again this year.

Blackburn has the more immediate impact on the club, as losing him is losing their pseudo-ace. The former All-Star is having a bit of a resurgent year in 2024, posting the lowest hits/9 innings total of his career, and the second-highest strikeout percentage of his career. While his ERA isn’t reflecting that as of yet, he’s still been perfectly fine, resulting in an ERA+ of 94, which is right around the league average.

Aaron Brooks Gets the Call

Aaron Brooks, 34, has been announced as the A’s starter on Wednesday. It will be his first big-league action since 2022. In his career, he’s pitched for the A’s, Kansas City Royals, Baltimore Orioles, and St. Louis Cardinals. He has yet to find success in the majors, however, sporting a career era above 6.50. So far in Triple-A, Brooks has a 4.57 ERA with a strikeout rate of 16.8%. The A’s would be ecstatic if Brooks could recreate that modest production in the majors.

As of now, the A’s haven’t announced if this will just be a spot start, or if Brooks will get multiple turns in the rotation.


Photo Credit: © Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports


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