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A’s rookie phenom Mason Miller experiencing elbow tightness

The top prospect began feeling discomfort after his last start against the Kansas City Royals and is headed back to Oakland for evaluation.

Starting pitcher Mason Miller of the Oakland Athletics pitches during the 1st inning of the game against the Kansas City Royalsat Kauffman Stadium on May 07, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The 2023 MLB season has been filled to the brim with starting pitcher injuries, and now it seems one of the game’s brighest young arms could be next. Mason Miller, the top-100 prospect with a 100-mph fastball who’d burst onto the scene with the Oakland Athletics in recent weeks, has reportedly begun feeling tightness in his elbow.

Miller threw six innings of two-run ball on Sunday against the Kansas City Royals. The team has yet to release any sort of prognosis or timetable as the righty heads back to Oakland to undergo further evaluation.

The Athletics’ no. 3 prospect per MLB Pipeline, Miller began the season in Double-A — but after striking out 19 over his first 8.2 innings in the Minors, he’d earned himself a call to the Show. The righty immediately looked like he belonged, striking out five while allowing two runs over 4.2 innings against the Chicago Cubs in his MLB debut. He followed that up with seven no-hit innings against the Seattle Mariners last week, showcasing his overwhelming triple-digit fastball and a deadly cutter and slider.

Miller’s lights-out stuff has never been in question, but unfortunately his durability has. Prior to 2023, the righty had completed just 12 innings of pro ball outside of the complex league due to a variety of injuries, including a rotator cuff strain that wiped out much of his 2022 season. He’s never cracked the 100-inning mark at any level, and it remains to be seen how an arm that generates such incredible velocity will hold up over the long haul.