Coming off a terrific 97-win season in 2018, the Oakland Athletics look to build on an AL Wild Card berth with an even stronger showing this year. Big league postseason success oftentimes will come down to prolific pitching performances, with one or two players potentially making the difference over the course of a series.
But the A's unfortunately have started the regular season without their top pitching prospect, Jesus Lozardo.
Jesus Luzardo has been shut down for 4-6 weeks with a rotator cuff strain. Terrible news for the A’s.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) March 21, 2019
Luzardo had put together a terrific Spring Training in limited action. With an ERA of 0.93 in 9.2 innings pitched, the young left hander might have had a chance to make the team coming out of spring training, but will now be delayed in that inevitable call up.
The A's definitely would like to ease Luzardo back slowly, with virtually the entire season still in front of them upon his return. A trip to the minor leagues for a short stint when healthy will give the 21-year-old prospect the time he needs to build that arm back up in an effort to rejoin the team as soon as his shoulder feels comfortable.
"He's disappointed, but he knows he just has to take his time with this."#Athletics' No. 1 prospect Jesus Luzardo has been shut down for four to six weeks with a muscle strain in his left shoulder: https://t.co/H0UtrfLG3e pic.twitter.com/AajwWOKysz— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) March 21, 2019