MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Two of the pitchers at spring training with the Oakland Athletics are getting ready for June, not April.
Right-handers Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin are both coming off Tommy John surgery, Parker for the second time.
Parker had elbow ligament-replacement surgery for the second time on March 24, following an initial operation in October 2009, when he was with Arizona. Griffin had Tommy John surgery for the first time on April 30.
Each through about two dozen pitchers during a bullpen session Friday when the A’s held their first spring training workout.
“I’m pretty happy about how things went today,” Griffin said. “I was able to make some adjustments about halfway through the session. It was kind of like learning to ride a bike — wobbly at first, but I was able to get my rhythm down and repeat my delivery.”
The 27-year-old Griffin was 7-1 in 2012, then 14-10 the following season. The 26-year-old Parker was 12-8 for the A’s in 2013 and 13-8 in 2012.
“We are looking at how they respond physically,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We want them to make progress each time out, but we are more concerned about how they feel afterward.”
Griffin said the injury was deflating mentally.
“It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with,” he said. “I am looking forward to June, and we are looking forward to the season.”
NOTES: LHP Sean Nolin, expected to challenge for a rotation spot after his acquisition from Toronto, is expected to throw off flat ground on Saturday as he comes back from a groin injury. ... Team officials and officials from the City of Mesa had a ribbon-cutting ceremony for HoHoKam Stadium Park and the nearby new Wolff complex. The high definition LED video board in left field is the largest at spring training in Arizona: 55 feet tall and 28 feet wide. ... LHP Barry Zito, who won the 2002 AL Cy Young Award with the A’s, is to throw his first bullpen session Saturday after agreeing to a minor league contract. Zito did not pitch last year.