News broke this afternoon that left-hander Sean Newcomb underwent surgery on his right knee today:
A's announce LHP Sean Newcomb underwent right knee arthroscopic surgery with Dr. Will Workman today in San Ramon. This is separate from the left knee surgery Newcomb underwent in September. He's expected to be ready for Spring Training.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) December 20, 2023
Luckily the calendar hasn’t flipped and Newcomb has the rest of the offseason to recover. And the team expects him to be ready to roll come Spring Training, which is excellent news.
Newcomb is easily the top lefty option out of the Oakland bullpen at the moment. The one-time starter bounced back from a couple tough seasons to return to the big leagues late in 2023. It took a late-season trade with the cross-bay Giants, but Newcomb arrived and pitched well down the stretch for the Athletics.
In seven games (2 starts), Newcomb pitched 15 innings with a solid 3.00 ERA. Even better, four of the five runs he gave up were in his final appearance of the season, when he gave up 4 runs in three innings to the San Diego Padres in his second start. He was placed on the IL just two days later with a left knee sprain, so the hope is that that injury affected his final outing.
Yes, it was a small sample but the only other pure lefty reliever on the 40-man roster as of this writing is Francisco Perez, who did not impress in 17 appearances with the Athletics last season. There are a couple lefty starters in Ken Waldichuk and Kyle Muller who might end up there, but losing Newcomb would hurt. Luckily this surgery is to the opposite knee that ended his ‘23 season, and it seems like he’ll be back to full strength by the time pitchers and catchers report. Bullet dodged, folks.