With three DL stints for elbow problems during the last two seasons, perhaps it was inevitable that left-hander Brett Anderson was heading towards Tommy John surgery. Still, it was a blow to the already battered hopes of the Oakland A's fanbase everywhere when it was announced on Thursday that Anderson had Tommy John surgery. He had been on the DL since June 7.
The recovery from Tommy John surgery runs 12 to 18 months, so Anderson's status for even the second half of the 2012 season is in doubt. For comparison, last August A's prospect Michael Ynoa had Tommy John surgery and he is not yet back to pitching in game play.
Anderson has been limited by elbow/forearm soreness for the past two seasons. In 2010, he had two separate DL stints and made only 19 starts after making 30 during his rookie season in 2009. He will finish this season with only 13 starts. Anderson never missed significant time in the minor leagues with elbow problems, but he did have at least one incident while pitching with Double-A Midland when he had some numbness in his arm while pitching in a game in 2008. He had a similar incident during spring training in 2009, as well.
In three major league seasons, Anderson has a 3.66 ERA and a better than three-to-one K:BB ratio. He has also allowed fewer than one homerun a game during his career.
Anderson's injury is just the latest blow for the A's, who were expected to contend for a playoff spot but instead find themselves 12 games out of first and sporting an anemic 39-53 record. The A's begin the second half of the season Friday at home versus the Angels.