With just weeks to go before the postseason starts, the Oakland Athletics have lost their best pitcher. Sean Manaea will undergo surgery on his pitching shoulder Sept. 19. A’s manager Bob Melvin doesn’t expect to have Manaea back until after the 2019 season.
Prior to the injury, the 26-year-old Manaea posted a 3.59 ERA over 160 2/3 innings. Manaea initially went on the disabled list in late August due to a shoulder issue. After being examined, doctors determined he would need to have surgery.
Sean Manaea to have shoulder surgery weeks before the playoffs
The surgery comes at an awful time for the A’s. The team will now lose one of its best pitchers just weeks before the postseason. The Athletics currently hold a 7.5-game lead for the second wild-card spot in the American League. Manaea would have been a candidate to start for the team in the wild-card game.
Sean Manaea’s shoulder surgery comes with risks
Generally, shoulder injuries are far more concerning than elbow injuries for pitchers. While many think of Tommy John as the worst possible pitching ailment, players are able to return from that surgery at roughly the same level. That’s not always the case with shoulder procedures.
We don’t know the extent of Manaea’s surgery, so it would be tough to speculate on how he’ll bounce back. But it’s always concerning when a pitcher has shoulder surgery.
How can the A’s overcome losing Sean Manaea?
The team has weathered a number of injuries to its rotation throughout the season, but Manaea is the biggest blow thus far. Without him, the club may go with Trevor Cahill or Mike Fiers in the wild-card game. After that, those two and some combination of Daniel Mengden, Chris Bassitt and Edwin Jackson will start in a playoff series.
The A’s also have an excellent bullpen, so you can plan on the team’s relievers taking on a much bigger role once the postseason begins.
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