Puk and Jharel Cotton (elbow) have both been cleared for mound work to begin the spring as the two hurlers work back from Tommy John surgery. Of the two, Puk appears to be the quicker healer, given that he's at the same place as Cotton in his rehab despite undergoing the elbow procedure one month later in 2018. Prior to requiring surgery last April, Puk was viewed as Oakland's top pitching prospect and was on track to earn a look in the big-league rotation, so he'll offer plenty of intrigue if he incurs no significant setbacks over the next few months. The Athletics are tentatively tabbing him for a mid-summer return and may have no qualms about bringing him on to the 25-man roster if he excels during what will likely be an extended minor-league rehab assignment.
Added Feb 12 12:11 pm (EST)