Sean Manaea dominating since return from shoulder surgery

After spending a year in recovery following left shoulder surgery last August, Sean Manaea is back in the rotation and providing a huge boost to the Athletics. Manaea, who no-hit the Red Sox and was a catalyst in Oakland’s magical run last season, has settled back in very nicely with three dominant outings to begin his 2019 campaign.

371 days after being shelved, Manaea returned to a big league mound on September 1st with a stellar outing at Yankee Stadium. Across five scoreless frames, the southpaw yielded just one hit while walking three and striking out five New York hitters. He took a no-decision, still, after leaving a scoreless game which the Yankees went on to win.

One week later, Manaea returned to the Coliseum for his first home start of the year in Oakland’s series finale against the Tigers. Manaea was stellar again in round two, tossing seven frames of one-run ball with 10 strikeouts to notch his first win of the year. He kept base runners to a minimum again, allowing a pair of hits and a pair of walks.

For the third Sunday in a row, Manaea was tabbed to start for the A’s as he took the mound against the Rangers in Oakland’s last game at Globe Life Park before the club moves over to Globe Life Field next season. Once again, he was exceptional. The lefty hurled six shutout frames while yielding three hits, walking one and striking out six to earn another victory. The dominant performance improved Manaea’s record to 2-0, and led the Athletics to a three-game sweep over the Rangers in Arlington.

So far through Sean Manaea’s first three outings off shoulder surgery, the 27-year-old hurler owns a 0.50 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 3 BB/9 and 10.5 K/9 across 18 innings. This has provided a much needed boost to the Oakland pitching staff, which was led by a very strong season from Manaea in 2018. Making 27 starts before his surgery, Manaea went 12-9 with a 3.59 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 4.26 FIP, 1.79 BB/9 and 1.18 HR/9. He excelled in keeping runners off base, as he’s done throughout his first three starts this season, largely due to his low walk rate. While his hard contact rate was elevated (37.5%), Manaea kept the ball on the ground at a solid rate of 44.0% last year.

Coming off a strong start in Arlington, Manaea’s slated to face the Rangers again this weekend, but in Oakland. He’ll likely make one more start after that in the final series against the Mariners, looking to post five strong starts in the regular season and hopefully a few more in the postseason for the A’s, who currently hold the top Wild Card spot in the American League.

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