The Oakland A’s took another tough blow this week as they try to build a new rotation for the 2022 season.
Pitcher Brent Honeywell has been shut down due to an elbow injury, reported Matt Kawahara of the S.F. Chronicle on Monday.
The right-hander “had an MRI/CT scan on his elbow that showed an olecranon stress reaction (bone in back of elbow)” and “will be shut down from throwing indefinitely,” explains Kawahara.
This is just the latest setback for Honeywell in a career that’s been full of them. Once a national Top 20 prospect in the Rays system, he missed three entire seasons from 2018-20 due to four operations on his elbow, before returning to action last summer and making his MLB debut for Tampa Bay. The A’s acquired him in November, and he appeared to be a prime candidate to crack the pitching staff to begin the season.
However, that hope is dashed for now. Further details about the severity of the injury remain to be seen, as does any kind of timetable for recovery, but at the very least this surely puts Honeywell out of the picture for the Opening Day roster.
For now, Oakland’s rotation still features a pair of stars in Frankie Montas and Sean Manaea, plus solid lefty Cole Irvin from last year’s group. Beyond that, current healthy options for the final two spots include promising rookie Daulton Jefferies, right-hander Paul Blackburn, and new prospect acquisition Adam Oller.
In addition to the loss of Honeywell from the competition, the A’s are also missing James Kaprielian for likely all of April due to shoulder irritation. The right-hander “threw a bullpen session Saturday and responded well” and will do another bullpen Tuesday (today), reports Kawahara.
Analysis: What an absolute bummer for Honeywell. He’s been through so much already, and he was staring at his best opportunity yet. And his birthday is on Thursday, turning 27, what should be his prime season. From the A’s standpoint this risk was always part of the deal when gambling on his upside, and they will figure something else out in the meantime. The story here is a player getting yet another round of rotten news, so let’s root for him to feel better soon and get onto a major league mound where he belongs.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only injury update for the A’s on Monday.
Reliever Deolis Guerra is day-to-day with forearm tightness, reports Kawahara.
The right-hander first felt the issue after his outing last Wednesday and has stopped throwing for now, adds Kawahara. He’ll be reevaluated Tuesday (today).
Guerra spent last season in Oakland’s bullpen and turned in a solid performance, showing versatility in various roles and serving as an unsung glue guy. He’s one of only two relievers from last year’s pen currently slated to return in 2022, along with incumbent closer Lou Trivino.
Outfielder Stephen Piscotty has dealt with several injuries over the past three seasons, and another one kept him out of the beginning of spring training this year, but he made his Cactus League debut on Monday. He took three plate appearances, drawing a walk in one of them.
The delay this spring was an inflamed nerve in his left shoulder, and you can click here to read more details from Kawahara.