4:22pm: The news on Manaea’s timeline is brutal, as manager Bob Melvin now tells reporters that the expectation is that Manaea will miss an entire year (Twitter links via Jane Lee of MLB.com and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle). The team will know more after the surgery, but that early estimate is a crushing reality for the upstart A’s, who may now be without their most talented starter for the entirety of the 2019 season.
2:17pm: The Athletics announced today that lefty Sean Manaea will undergo surgery on his pitching shoulder. He had been on the disabled list since late August with what was then labeled as an impingement.
Certainly, the procedure will be expected to keep Manaea sidelined for the remainder of the 2018 season. Beyond that, though, it’s not clear what to expect. The organization says that it “will provide further details after the surgery.”
While it had become increasingly clear of late that Manaea would not make it back late this year, this is still a particularly disappointing way to wrap things up. We’ll need to wait to learn more about the prognosis, but shoulder surgeries are always of particular concern for pitchers.
Manaea had turned in 161 2/3 innings of 3.59 ERA pitching this year, helping spur a remarkable run for the Oakland ballclub. To be sure, his peripherals weren’t quite as exciting. With 6.0 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, and a 44.0% groundball rate, ERA estimators viewed him more as a quality rotation piece than a front-end starter (4.26 FIP, 4.33 xFIP, 4.46 SIERA).
Despite the questions, the 26-year-old is an indisputably talented and valuable pitcher. He’s slated to qualify for arbitration this coming offseason as a Super Two player, so missing some time late in the year will put a bit of a dent in his earnings. Still, with 464 MLB frames of sub-4.00 ERA pitching already under his belt, Manaea ought to earn well through the arb process.