Sean Murphy

A's catcher Sean Murphy undergoes knee surgery, should be ready for spring

murphyap.jpg
AP

A's catcher Sean Murphy undergoes knee surgery, should be ready for spring

A's catcher Sean Murphy underwent surgery on his left knee Thursday, the team announced. He is expected to be ready for the start of spring training.

The lateral meniscus debridement procedure was performed by Dr. Thomas Carter at the Gateway Surgical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Murphy, 25, spent two stints on the Triple-A injured list this season with knee injuries but recovered to join the A's in September.

In 20 games, Murphy slashed .245/.333/.566 with four home runs and eight RBI. That followed an impressive Triple-A campaign where he hit .308/.386/.625 with 10 homers and 30 RBI in 31 contests.

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MLB Pipeline ranks Murphy as the A's No. 3 prospect, behind only hard-throwing pitchers Jesús Luzardo and A.J. Puk. Murphy is expected to be Oakland's starting catcher next season, though Josh Phegley will likely return and get considerable playing time as well.

The A's originally selected Murphy out of Wright State University in the third round of the 2016 MLB Draft.

Projecting A's starting lineup, roster for AL Wild Card Game vs. Rays

Projecting A's starting lineup, roster for AL Wild Card Game vs. Rays

The AL Wild Card Game officially is set. The A's will host the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night at the Coliseum.

Oakland hasn't announced its starting pitcher yet, but the Rays will go with veteran right-hander Charlie Morton.

Here's our projection for the A's 25-man roster and starting lineup for the game:

Roster

Pitchers (11): Sean Manaea, Homer Bailey, Chris Bassitt, Liam Hendriks, Yusmeiro Petit, J.B. Wendelken, Joakim Soria, Jesús Luzardo, A.J. Puk, Jake Diekman, Ryan Buchter

Catchers (2): Sean Murphy, Josh Phegley

Infielders (6): Matt Olson, Jurickson Profar, Sheldon Neuse, Marcus Semien, Matt Chapman, Franklin Barreto

Outfielders (6): Mark Canha, Ramón Laureano, Robbie Grossman, Khris Davis, Chad Pinder, Seth Brown

Starting lineup

SS Marcus Semien
3B Matt Chapman
1B Matt Olson
CF Mark Canha
RF Ramón Laureano
DH Khris Davis
2B Jurickson Profar
C Sean Murphy
LF Robbie Grossman

LHP Sean Manaea

Analysis

The A's still haven't announced whether Sean Manaea or Mike Fiers will get the start, but we are giving the edge to Manaea, who has been nearly unhittable in his five September starts. Manaea is 4-0 with a 1.21 ERA and 0.78 WHIP, with 30 strikeouts against seven walks.

Oakland has a few decisions to make at the bottom of the lineup. Manager Bob Melvin either could go with Jurickson Profar or Sheldon Neuse at second base. We're projecting Profar against the right-handed pitcher, with Neuse as a possible defensive replacement later in the game.

Behind the plate, Sean Murphy seems to have passed Josh Phegley as the starter, particularly because of his defensive excellence.

In left field, Seth Brown would have been a good bet a couple of weeks ago, but the 27-year-old rookie is in an 0-for-16 slump, so we predict that veteran Robbie Grossman gets the nod.

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We're projecting 11 pitchers on the roster, including starter Homer Bailey as some insurance for Manaea. Of course, Bassitt can pitch several innings as well if necessary.

Ideally, the A's will use a formula of Manaea, Jesús Luzardo and Liam Hendriks to earn the victory.

A's vs. Rangers lineups: Sean Murphy catching Sean Manaea for first time

murphyap.jpg
AP

A's vs. Rangers lineups: Sean Murphy catching Sean Manaea for first time

Sean Manaea has pitched two games this season, both with the same battery mate. That will change Sunday for the A's left-hander. 

Rookie catcher Sean Murphy will be in the squat working with Manaea in Texas. 

The 24-year-old has been a star so far in the early part of his MLB career. Through eight games with the A's, Murphy is batting .409 with four homers and three doubles. 

Manaea has been just as impressive, too. The 27-year-old is 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA in two starts this year. 

Here are the full lineups for the A's-Rangers game, which will be broadcast on NBC Sports California and the MyTeams app. Coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. PT, with first pitch at 12:05 p.m. PT.

Oakland A's (89-60)
SS Marcus Semien
3B Matt Chapman
1B Matt Olson
CF Mark Canha 
LF Seth Brown
DH Khris Davis
2B Jurickson Profar
C Sean Murphy
RF Robbie Grossman

LHP Sean Manaea (1-0, 0.75 ERA)

Texas Rangers (74-76)
RF Shin-Soo Choo
SS Elvis Andrus
LF Willie Calhoun
2B Nick Solak
DH Rougned Odor
CF Scott Heinemen
1B Ronald Guzman
3B Isaiah Kiner-Falefa
C Jose Trevino

RHP Jonathan Hernandez (1-0, 1.93 ERA)