Springtime sadness
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - To the healthy starting pitchers left in the majors: take it easy the rest of spring training, because at this rate we aren't going to have enough left to make it through the first week of the season.

Two more starting pitcher injuries were announced as I was writing this story, both to members of the Oakland Athletics.

A.J. Griffin has a right elbow injury, while Jarrod Parker is dealing with right forearm tightness. Both pitchers are expected to start the season on the disabled list, and Jesse Chavez and Tommy Milone are likely to assume their spots in the rotation, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Add Griffin and Parker to at least 15 other fantasy relevant starters who have dealt with some sort of affliction, arm or otherwise, this spring.

Let's take a look at the status of those hurlers now.

Kris Medlen, Atlanta Braves

The injury: Ligament damage in right elbow

Outlook: Medlen will likely undergo the second Tommy John surgery of his career (first was in August 2010). He'll visit Dr. James Andrews on Monday for another opinion, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal- Constitution

Brandon Beachy, Atlanta Braves

The injury: Tightness in right elbow and biceps

Outlook: Like Medlen, Beachy is likely headed for another Tommy John surgery, his second since June 2012, according to Mark Bowman of mlb.com. He'll visit Dr. James Andrew on Monday (along with Medlen and Parker). The Braves signed Ervin Santana as a response to the injuries to Medlen and Beachy.

Mike Minor, Atlanta Braves

The injury: Left shoulder soreness

Outlook: Minor had urinary tract surgery on Dec. 31 so he was unable to throw in January and began experiencing soreness in camp. Braves GM Frank Wren said he hopes Minor will be back near the end of the second week of the regular season, reports Bowman.

Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies

The injury: Left shoulder discomfort and arm fatigue

Outlook: Hamels experienced shoulder discomfort in November and was shut down from throwing, which put him behind schedule at the start of camp. He made good progress initially but fatigue in his arm set him back again on March 6. He is expected to miss most of April.

Doug Fister, Washington Nationals

The injury: Right elbow inflammation

Outlook: An MRI revealed no structural damage in Fister's elbow and he was able to play catch this week. He felt "a little bit tight" after throwing Thursday but the team will have him toss a bullpen session Friday, reports Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Fister is projected to be ready for the start of the regular season.

Jon Niese, New York Mets

The injury: Weakness in left shoulder

Outlook: Niese began experiencing a "pinching sensation" in his shoulder early in camp, the result of neglecting certain parts of his shoulder in his workouts this offseason, but an MRI ruled out structural damage, according to Adam Rubin of espnny.com. The left- hander was able to make his Grapefruit League debut Tuesday and gave up four runs in two innings. The team still has him penciled in as the Opening Day starter.

Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners

The injury: Right shoulder soreness

Outlook: Walker, one of the top prospects in baseball, arrived to camp with shoulder soreness and was shut down, but he threw a bullpen session Thursday and said it was a relief to "feel normal again," according to Greg Johns of mlb.com. Walker won't be able to make his regular season debut until mid-April at the earliest.

Jaime Garcia, St. Louis Cardinals

The injury: Left shoulder inflammation

Outlook: Garcia, who had surgery to repair a torn labrum last May, began feeling soreness in his shoulder in February and was diagnosed with inflammation. According to Jenifer Langosch of mlb.com, he is expected to resume throwing off a mound by the end of this month but is out indefinitely.

Jeremy Hellickson, Tampa Bay Rays

The injury: Loose bodies in right elbow

Outlook: Hellickson had arthroscopic surgery on his elbow in January and is targeting June 1 for his return, reports the Tampa Bay Times. Jake Odorizzi (3.33 ERA, 124/40 K/BB in 124 1/3 Triple-A innings last season) is the favorite to take Hellickson's spot in the rotation.

Jhoulys Chacin, Colorado Rockies

The injury: Right shoulder strain and inflammation

Outlook: Chacin is a near certainty to start the season on the disabled list, according to Thomas Harding of mlb.com, but he has been progressing in his throwing program and should return when he's first eligible.

Mat Latos, Cincinnati Reds

The injury: Torn meniscus in left knee

Outlook: Latos underwent surgery on Feb. 14 and tweaked his knee while working out on Feb. 27, but he has progressed to throwing live batting practice. The Reds hope he'll be ready to start on April 6, the first time they need a fifth starter, according to mlb.com.

Bronson Arroyo, Arizona Diamondbacks

The injury: Bulging disk in back

Outlook: The 37-year-old has been sidelined nearly the entirety of training camp with his back injury but has improved in the last day and plans to throw a bullpen session Sunday, reports Craig Grialou of arizonasports.com. He's never made a trip to the disabled list in his entire career.

Josh Beckett, Los Angeles Dodgers

The injury: Right thumb sprain

Outlook: Beckett caught his thumb in a clubhouse door in the first week of March. The Dodgers expect him to debut in mid-April, the first time the team needs a fifth starter, according to Ken Gurnick of mlb.com. He underwent thoracic outlet syndrome surgery last season after going 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP in eight starts.

Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers

The injury: Right calf strain

Outlook: Greinke suffered his injury a few pitches into his Cactus League debut and didn't return to the mound for a Cactus League game until Wednesday. The injury will cause him to miss the Dodgers season-opening series in Australia against the Diamondbacks, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, but he is scheduled to start the third game of the year.

Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

The injury: Core muscle surgery

Outlook: Verlander had surgery in early January after injuring a core muscle while working out in December and his streak of six straight Opening Day starts is in jeopardy. However, after making his Grapefruit League debut on March 11, he should be ready to start the first week of the season.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.

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