The Oakland Athletics have announced that All Star closer Sean Doolittle is expected to miss the beginning of the season with a tear in a small rotator cuff and inflammation. Athletics assistant General Manager David Forst says Doolittle has undergone a platelet-rich plasma injection and will be re-evaluated at a later date. Doctors say that the shoulder strain is not drastic and will not require surgery, just treatment and rest. Doolittle was unavailable to comment on the injury, but will do so in two weeks at the Athletics FanFest.
Until then, Forst says Oakland will need determine a closer to use during Spring Training and to start the season. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, newly acquired Tyler Clippard is the front-runner for the spot. Dan Otero is another option.
Forst says that #Athletics will determine a closer to fill in for Doolittle during spring. (But you’d have to think Clippard front-runner.)
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) January 23, 2015
In 2014, the power southpaw amassed an ERA of 2.73 with 22 saves and had an incredible 89/8 strikeout to walk ratio in 62.2 innings pitched. He also had a minuscule 1.71 FIP and 0.734 WHIP. This season, Doolittle will be entering the second year of a five-year contract.