​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.

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.

Four to six weeks missed will certainly disappoint any young prospect on the cusp of making an MLB splash, but Luzardo's future in Oakland will come in time. A rate of 14 strikeouts per nine in the spring is nothing to fool around with.