The A's starting rotation has been a successful surprise early in the season. With so many injuries, question marks swirled the rubber in Oakland.
So far, so good. And it can get even better.
One of the two missing pieces currently is left-hander Sean Manaea, who underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery in September. On Monday though, A's manager Bob Melvin gave a positive injury update on the ace.
"I think there is," Melvin said to MLB Network Radio on the chance Manaea pitches in 2019. "He certainly thinks it can happen. He's playing catch out to 90 feet right now and he feels really good."
As much as they miss him, Melvin knows the A's must play it safe with Manaea.
"There's a certain timetable he's on, too. We gotta be discipline with that," Melvin said.
The A's are also with Jharel Cotton and A.J. Puk, whom are both recovering from Tommy John surgery. Later on in the season, this rotation might look a whole different, with all three arms possibly joining the staff.
"I feel like the potential is there, and with all three of those guys," Melvin said. "Even if we can get them to contribute a little bit this season ... we know that next season, from what looked to be a weakness this year with the rotation, can really be a strength for us next year.
"We gotta be careful with these guys and make sure they're healthy."
Manaea went 12-9 with a 3.59 ERA in 27 starts last season, and threw the seventh no-hitter in Oakland A's history.