|Devine out for the season|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on April 22, 2009
Bad news for Oakland: reliever Joey Devine is finished for the season with Tommy John surgery. This all but confirms reports heard earlier in the season that said Devine was visiting Dr. James Andrews. Andrews, from my experience with him, is a good guy, but pitchers must hate seeing him. From Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle:
I just had it confirmed from Devine's agent that Devine had Tommy John surgery, otherwise known as ligament replacement surgery. Considering the length of time the team expected him to miss - at least the remainder of the season - this is not really a surprise, but it does mean that the recovery time could be more like a year and a half. The fact that Devine is a reliever will shorten the time a bit, but it is unlikely that he'd be back in action for the A's until midseason next year, just based on others who have had the same surgery.
Manager Bob Geren says that co-closer Joey Devine had surgery on the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow on Tuesday, but details were sketchy besides that.
Geren said that the team has not been informed yet the nature of the surgery - i.e., if ligament replacement was involved, which would probably keep Devine out more than a year. Clearly, however, the surgery was more than a routine arthroscopic cleanup, which would only sideline a pitcher for six weeks or so.
It seems kind of odd that Devine's agent was able to confirm Devine had Tommy John surgery, while his own manager didn't have many details beyond his pitcher had surgery on his ulnar collateral ligament and team hadn't been informed of the type of the surgery. This just seems like something they should've known.
Anyway, this isn't a death blow to the Athletics. They're still in second place in the American League West, and with the injuries the Angels have had, the A's still have a chance to win the division. (Obviously, I think the Mariners are going to drop to earth and badly.)
However, this certainly limits Oakland's margin for error. Devine was supposed to close for them, allowing Geren to use Brad Ziegler in a setup role. Ziegler, who has taken over the closer's role during Devine's injury, should keep his job closing out games. Looking at his statistics from last season, he wouldn't be a bad pickup, though he's likely been added in your fantasy league.