The Oakland A's will be without reliever R.J. Alvarez for the start of the 2016 season. The team told beat writers on Friday that Alvarez will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his elbow next week to remove bone chips. Alvarez will miss a yet to be determined amount of time, but he is expected to make a full recovery and pitch sometime during the first half of the season.
Alvarez came into camp competing for one of the A's final two bullpen spots. He has struggled thus far this spring and was a long shot to make the Opening Day roster, but the injury will now keep him off of the Triple-A Nashville roster to start the year. That will likely open another bullpen spot in Triple-A for one of the A's relievers who pitched in Double-A last year. Alvarez joined the A's before last season in a trade with the San Diego Padres. He split last year between the big leagues and Triple-A, posting a 4.05 ERA with the Sounds and a 9.90 ERA with Oakland.