BREAKING: Sean Manaea to have shoulder surgery, out for 2018

The Oakland A's will be without their star lefty for the rest of the season and the playoffs

(Photo Credit: D.R. Buddie)

Oakland Athletics left-handed starter Sean Manaea will have surgery on his throwing shoulder and miss the rest of the season. The news broke via a medical update posted to the Twitter page of Oakland’s PR team.

Per the announcement, Manaea will undergo surgery in Los Angeles next Wednesday. Once the surgery is complete, the team will provide more details so as to establish a timeline for his return next season.

A career season cut short

Thus comes an untimely end to what was a career season for the 26-year-old southpaw. Manaea matched his career high with 12 wins this season and had a 3.59 ERA and remarkable 1.08 WHIP. He showed marked improvement in 2018 by lowering his walks per nine innings (BB/9) from 3.12 to 1.79. Manaea also started throwing his changeup more.

The highlight of the year, however, came on April 21. That was when Manaea threw a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox, who currently own the best record in baseball. In that game, Manaea threw 75 of 108 pitches for strikes and stuck out 10 hitters in the A’s 3-0 victory, which also was against Boston ace Chris Sale.

What's next?

Oakland is currently locked in a heated battle with the New York Yankees for the top AL Wild Card seed, but the good news for the A's is losing Manaea shouldn't prove too catastrophic. Since the lefty's last appearance on August 24, Oakland has gone 10-5 including taking two of a three-game set against the Bronx Bombers.

This is thanks to a strong pitching staff that induces a lot of ground balls and features a great balance of veterans like Mike Fiers and Trevor Cahill and also youth in Daniel Mengden. The real strength, however, is in Oakland's deep bullpen. Closer Blake Treinen has 37 saves to go with an astounding 0.87 ERA, and former Mets closer Jeurys Familia has gone 4-1 with a 2.55 ERA since coming over from Flushing in July.

Oh, and did I mention the A's also acquired veteran Fernando Rodney from the Minnesota Twins to boost the relief corps?

The AL Wild Card Game will determine just how far the Oakland A's go without Sean Manaea, but manager Bob Melvin surely isn't losing any sleep over this recent bad news. Manaea is a big loss, but it's not as though the A's are sunk without him. The team is strong right now and once he's healthy again next year, they should pick up right where they left off.

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