Elbow pain keeps O'Flaherty off A's WC roster

Elbow pain keeps O'Flaherty off A's WC roster

KANSAS CITY -- A's reliever Eric O'Flaherty was forced off the roster for Tuesday night's American League Wild Card Game because of ongoing discomfort in his surgically repaired left elbow.

The southpaw, who underwent Tommy John surgery last year, has been dealing with the issue for nearly two weeks. O'Flaherty last pitched in a game on Sept. 20, and although he threw to hitters on Monday, he "didn't love the way the ball was coming out of his hand," said manager Bob Melvin, "so it just didn't seem prudent to put him on the playoff roster right now."

  Date   Result Highlights
  Sept. 30   KC 9, OAK 8 video
That leaves the A's with three lefties in their bullpen for the Wild Card Game: closer Sean Doolittle, Fernando Abad and Drew Pomeranz. It's not known whether O'Flaherty would be available for a potential AL Division Series against the Angels, but the elbow issue, at least, isn't believed to be serious.

"It's natural when you've had a surgery like that and you feel something, that it scares you a little bit," said Melvin. "I think that's the case for him right now, but I'm not sure. But we weren't going to run him out there when he's not feeling great, and that is the case right now."

O'Flaherty posted a 2.25 ERA in 20 regular-season innings for the A's.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.