Pitching prospect Kaprielian out with lat strain

Right-hander shut down for at least two weeks

February 13th, 2019

MESA, Ariz. -- is once again the subject of an all-too-familiar storyline.

The A's pitching prospect arrived in camp healthy but has since been shut down, this time with a right lat strain. He'll remain sidelined for at least two weeks before the A's reevaluate him.

Kaprielian underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017, and the road back to game action has been harrowing for Oakland's No. 9 prospect. The A's, who acquired him from the Yankees as part of the deal, hoped to have him on the mound at some point in 2018, but shoulder soreness kept him shelved for the entire season, minus one inning in an instructional league game.

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Kaprielian entered the offseason with health on his side, only to experience lat discomfort while throwing a bullpen session Friday.

"He's still a young guy, and he's going to get past this at some point," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He's being tested for some reason, and his demeanor is, he's a tough guy, so he wants to be out there.

"So I feel bad for him, but at some point in time we'll get this all straightened out and you'll see him on the mound, and I'm sure we'll see the guy we anticipated when we got him, but he's going through a tough period right now."

The 24-year-old hasn't thrown a professional inning since 2016, and even then he was limited to three regular-season games -- plus seven more in the Arizona Fall League -- because of a flexor tendon problem.

At the time, he was considered New York's top pitching prospect. The Yankees took him out of UCLA with the 16th overall pick in 2015, marking New York's highest selection since 1993.