Athletics

Athletics

The A's rotation was already thin, and on Wednesday night it took a hit it really couldn't afford.

Top prospect Jesus Luzardo, who had been one of the A's best pitchers in Arizona, has been shut down for four to six weeks with a rotator cuff strain in his throwing shoulder.

General manager David Forst informed reporters in Japan of the development just hours before the A's and Mariners were set to play their second regular season game.

In 9.2 innings this spring, Luzardo allowed just one earned run and struck out 15.

The 21-year-old left-hander had made a strong case to be part of the rotation once the team opens its schedule back in the US. Instead, he likely won't be ready until at least May.

Losing Luzardo is a tough blow for an A's team searching for dependable rotation arms.