MESA, Ariz. -- Sean Manaea has come a long way since the AL Wild Card Game in October.
A trip overseas proved to be an escape and a well-needed adventure to discover the loss to the Tampa Bay Rays wasn't all his fault.
It was a perfect reset for Manaea, who will have a different role this season. Once in the group of youngsters, he now finds himself sandwiched in between the fresh-faced and experienced arms of those vying for spots in the A's starting rotation in 2020.
"[Manaea] is at a different point in his career right now, too," manager Bob Melvin told reporters prior to Manaea's Cactus League debut against the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday. "He's not just that young, talented left-hander, he's had to make some changes along the way because of the injury -- do things a bit differently but he's excited about a full year, as are we because, like I said, (his) numbers were fantastic last year."
Manaea's spring debut left a lot to be desired, and he knew that.
He left after 1 1/2 innings giving up six hits, six runs and two home runs.
"Results-wise, I mean, six runs is six runs -- that sucks, and I don't really know what happened," Manaea told reporters after his outing. "I think, just leaving stuff down the middle and ultimately that's what I was trying not to do. I just wanted to go out there and throw my slider and get a feel for it, and I think I accomplished that today."
Manaea said it was a good starting point to work on for a spring outing, and the hits he gave up were just lessons to learn from.
He maintained the positive attitude BoMel touched on that makes him special on the team and in the clubhouse. Manaea said the slider moved well, and he was really happy with the movement overall. Just not the location.
"For the most part -- for some of the part -- it was pretty decent," he smiled.
Talking about a spring training outing can often feel pointless, but one thing is certain. The laidback vibes, weather and baseball a month in Arizona can bring will resonate throughout Manaea's season.