MESA, Arizona — A’s pitcher Jharel Cotton’s strong start to the spring just took a big hit.

After another impressive outing which saw Cotton hold the Giants hitless through four innings of work with three walks and five strikeouts Monday, manager Bob Melvin revealed Tuesday morning that the reason for Cotton’s somewhat early exit from the game was due to elbow soreness he had mentioned in the dugout.

Melvin had noticed a drop in velocity on Cotton’s fastball in the third and fourth inning, and had suspected something was wrong with the pitcher. After consulting with team trainers, the club decided to send Cotton back to the Bay Area.

He will go see Dr. Will Workman in Walnut Creek Wednesday and undergo an MRI Thursday.

“He’s going home, so there’s a concern,” Melvin said. “He’s not gonna make his next start.”

Aside from top prospect A.J. Puk, Cotton had been the most impressive pitcher on the A’s this spring.

Through four games, Cotton had posted a 3.75 ERA, striking out 16 batters in 12 innings with only six walks.

Cotton was expected to be a part of the starting rotation coming out of spring training. Should Cotton have to miss an extended amount of time, Melvin said the injury could open up the door for Andrew Triggs to find himself a spot in the rotation.

Triggs has impressed the club this spring coming back from left hip surgery last season. In his most recent outing Sunday against the Cubs, Triggs closed out the game with three perfect innings, striking out four batters in the victory.

“For a guy coming back from surgery, he seems to be more comfortable every time he’s out there,” Melvin said. “He’s pitched really well, and that’s one of those starter guys that we haven’t talked about a whole lot.”


The A’s also got some bad news on outfielder Ramon Laureano.

After Laureano walked into the clubhouse sporting a green cast on his left hand, Melvin revealed a pitch that hit Laurenao in Monday’s game broke his fifth metacarpal, also known as his pinky finger.

Laureano, 23, was batting .304 with a double through 16 games this spring.

He was acquired from the Astros this past November in a trade for right-handed pitcher Brandon Bailey.

If You Go

What: 24th Press Democrat All-Empire sports awards ceremony

When: Wednesday, May, 9, 6:30 p.m.

Where: Friedman Event Center, 4676 Mayette Ave., Santa Rosa

Format: High schools in the Redwood Empire were invited to nominate their top male and female athletes, their top male and female scholar-athletes. All the athletes will be introduced. From that group, overall winners were selected by judges from The Press Democrat sports department. Those announcements will conclude the ceremony.