- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 27, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Oakland Athletics pitching prospect A.J. Puk has injured his pitching elbow, and Dr. James Andrews is recommending he have Tommy John surgery.

The left-handed Puk injured the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow, the team said Tuesday. Puk was initially diagnosed by Dr. Doug Freedberg in Arizona, and Andrews was consulted to confirm the 22-year-old’s injury.

Puk was the sixth overall pick in the 2016 draft by Oakland out of the University of Florida. He struck out 184 batters in 125 innings split between Class A and Double-A last season, going 6-10 with a 4.03 ERA. Puk had a 3.38 ERA in four spring training appearances this season.

“First and foremost you feel sorry for him,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “He’s a young guy. Typically when these things happen, these guys come back as strong if not stronger than ever. And I know he’s going to work hard to get back and pitch in the fashion he was.”

Another A’s pitching prospect, Jharel Cotton, had Tommy John surgery last Wednesday.

“The hits just keep on coming as far as the rotation goes,” Melvin said.

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More AP baseball coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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