NEW YORK — Sean Manaea’s been with the Athletics on the road since Kansas City, throwing some bullpen sessions and working with pitching coach Scott Emerson through the final days of his rehabilitation from the shoulder surgery he had last September.
Manaea will start Sunday’s final game against the New York Yankees, his first big league action since last August.
“We’re at the point where we need to get him into a game,” manager Bob Melvin said. “He was really effective his last time out. He’s shown he’s been a really effective pitcher for us and for the first time we’re able to get Mike Fiers a few days off.”
A critical game against the Yankees in the Bronx is no soft landing spot, but there was no point in keeping Manaea on the shelf much longer. His last rehab start with Las Vegas way back on August 23 yielded seven shutout innings with 12 strikeouts, two hits and one walk. Granted, it was against Tacoma, a minor league team out of the PCL postseason race, but the team is mostly concerned with Manaea’s feel for his pitches, his velocity.
Manaea’s activation from the 60-day DL will be the first of a few waves of September moves the A’s may see. The Aviators are in the postseason, which should have very little affect on who might be called up in the coming days. It’s more likely that some player will join the team back in Oakland on September 3.
The A’s have been active in promoting its hot minor leaguers so far, so it should come as no surprise if Jesus Luzardo and, perhaps, Sean Murphy and Jorge Mateo make their way up to the big leagues as Oakland pushes for a wild card spot.