Athletics’ top five rookies of 2016

jenrainwater
Jun 29, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Ryan Dull (66) is congratulated by catcher Stephen Vogt (21) after the end of the game against the San Francisco Giants at the Coliseum the Oakland Athletics defeated the San Francisco Giants 7 to 1. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 29, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Ryan Dull (66) is congratulated by catcher Stephen Vogt (21) after the end of the game against the San Francisco Giants at the Coliseum the Oakland Athletics defeated the San Francisco Giants 7 to 1. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oakland Athletics
Aug 29, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Sean Manaea (55) delivers a pitch against the Astros during the second inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

Sean Manaea delivers a strong 2016 season for Oakland.

Sean Manaea was by no means perfect in 2016 but he did help hold down the fort when the rest of the starting rotation went down.

Multiple Tommy John surgeries and an array of other injuries to starters, combined with the trade of Rich Hill to the Los Angeles Dodgers, ended up leaving Kendall Graveman and Manaea to lead the rotation.

Graveman in just his second full major league season, and Manaea who had made his MLB debut as recently as April 29, both had great second halves. Graveman and Manaea were the only stable pitchers in an ever changing rotation.

Manaea made 12 starts in the first half of the season and 13 appearances, including 12 more starts in the second half.

It takes time to adjust to the majors, that much we all know. Manaea’s first half, while not bad, looked like that of a rookie. He also spent a short stint on the disabled list.

“My goodness,” Vogt said. “Like I just told him, I’ve never seen somebody make adjustments like that in their first year. He’s very mature, willing to make adjustments.”

Still he posted a 3-5 record over those 12 starts ending the first half of the season with a 5.24 ERA and a 1.388 WHIP. He averaged 7.4 K’s per nine innings and had a 2.75 strikeout to walk ratio.

Manaea had a bit of a rough start, especially on the road, but not terrible for a rookie who suffered from a left pronator (forearm) strain and had to miss some playing time.

However, he started out the second half healthy.

Through a series of adjustments, that were praised by catcher Stephen Vogt, Manaea helped lead the rotation, going 4-4 with a much improved 2.67 ERA and a 1.017 WHIP.

He improved his strikeout to walk ratio to 4.6 and his strikeouts per nine innings to 8.0.

If Manaea stays healthy in 2017, you could be looking at a future Athletics ace.

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