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Oakland A’s injury update: Sean Manaea to have shoulder surgery

More details to come after the Sept. 19 arthroscopic operation.

Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

Oakland A’s starting pitcher Sean Manaea will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder, the team announced Tuesday. The operation will take place on Sept. 19, which is a week from Wednesday. Update: He’s out for the year and expected to miss all of 2019, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle.

Manaea has been on the disabled list for more than two weeks with tendinitis in his rotator cuff. The left-hander last pitched on Aug. 24. To that point he’d been the only member of Oakland’s beleaguered Opening Day rotation to make it through the whole season healthy, and he still leads the club by wide margins with 27 starts and 160⅔ ip. His no-hitter in April was one of the highlights of the year, which is saying something on a team that’s had more than its fair share of memorable moments.

Manaea, 2018: 3.59 ERA, 160⅔ ip, 108 Ks, 32 BB, 21 HR, 4.26 FIP

The 26-year-old was arguably the most talented and most reliable arm in the A’s rotation in 2018, but this isn’t his first bout with injury. He missed substantial time in the minors when he was a top prospect (and even college), and he’s now hit the DL in all three seasons of his MLB career. His health has always been a question mark within an otherwise exciting profile.

In the meantime, with Manaea and so many other starters on the shelf, Oakland has experimented with bullpen games. On days when established veterans Mike Fiers, Edwin Jackson, and Trevor Cahill aren’t scheduled, the team has opened with a short reliever and then used one of their backup starters as a long reliever, letting the elite pen carry most of the load. It has helped that the pitching staff is up to 21 arms now with expanded September rosters.

Technically, the A’s haven’t announced that Manaea’s season is over, though Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle notes that’s “presumably” the case. His return was already deemed a long shot and now the chance has to be approaching nil, but for what it’s worth it hasn’t been made official. The World Series won’t be over until at least five weeks after the surgery, and by definition an arthroscopic procedure is minimally invasive. Don’t hold your breath, but those are the facts that are currently available.

Update: Manaea is indeed out for the rest of 2018, and he could miss all of next year too, reports Slusser.

Summary of MLB disabled list:

  • Anderson: returning this week
  • Blackburn: resumed throwing
  • Triggs: shut down
  • Smolinski: likely out for season
  • Cotton: out for season (TJS)
  • Manaea: out for season, and likely 2019 (shoulder surgery)
  • Graveman: out for season, and likely 2019 (TJS)
  • Gossett: out for season, and likely 2019 (TJS)

Best of luck to all the injured A’s in their recoveries!