A’s reliever Sean Newcomb underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, the team announced (relayed by Martín Gallegos of MLB.com). It’s apparently a minor procedure, as Newcomb is still expected to be ready for Spring Training.
In late September, the southpaw underwent a meniscus repair on his other knee. Two procedures, even if neither is expected to require a notable absence, surely isn’t how he envisioned the start to his A’s tenure. Oakland had acquired Newcomb from the Giants in late August, a post-deadline trade made possible by the fact that neither he nor outfielder Trenton Brooks (who went to S.F. in return) had been on the 40-man roster to that point in the season.
The A’s quickly selected Newcomb’s contract. He pitched seven times before the left knee injury ended his year. The 30-year-old allowed five runs over 15 innings, fanning 17 while issuing nine walks. The front office was intrigued enough by Newcomb’s form to sign him to a $1MM contract within the first few days of the offseason. That bought out his second-to-last arbitration year.
As a result, Newcomb has a good chance of breaking camp in Mark Kotsay’s bullpen. A former first-round pick and top prospect, he has reached the majors in seven straight years. Newcomb had a couple strong seasons early in his career while operating out of the Atlanta rotation. Increasing strike-throwing issues have pushed him to the bullpen and the fringes of clubs’ rosters. He owns a 6.70 ERA in 88 2/3 MLB innings dating back to the start of 2020.