Manaea ponders wearing mask during games

July 6th, 2020

OAKLAND -- has been known to bring wacky hairstyles to the mound. This season, he might have a completely unique look while pitching.

After taking part in the second workout of Summer Camp at the Coliseum on Sunday, the A’s left-hander revealed that he’s considering using a mask on the mound during games.

“I might use a face mask,” Manaea said. “I don’t know if we’re required to wear it on the field, but I might as well just try it out and see what it’s like. At least for a game.”

While safety is the main reason Manaea would do it, he also would like to have a little fun with it, perhaps coming up with special designs that would perhaps encourage other players to wear masks during games.

Outfielder Mark Canha has often used a ski mask on cold nights in Oakland, and relief pitcher Yusmeiro Petit arrived to Saturday’s workouts wearing a similar face covering.

“I saw a couple of guys wear the neck [masks] and I thought that was pretty cool,” Manaea said. “To be able to wear something different and zazz that up might be fun to rock.”

Mask or no mask, Manaea is eager to get back on the mound in a competitive setting. Staying in Arizona after Spring Training was shut down in March, Manaea maintained a regular throwing program, even setting up a net in his backyard to throw at when a catcher was not available. Now at the point where he can go about three solid innings, Manaea looks forward to the A’s intrasquad games set to begin this week to continue building his workload.

“I threw every day during quarantine. There really was no excuse not to,” Manaea said. “I threw to a few hitters a couple of times. Kind of stretched out but not where it needs to be for the regular season. The shortened schedule will be different, but we’re all in the same boat.”