May 2011

Braden likely to see doctor again

Dallas Braden’s morning session of catch didn’t go so well, an A’s official said, so he’ll probably pay another visit to a doctor for further examination of his stiff throwing shoulder. Braden wasn’t on the last trip and he hasn’t really made himself available to media in recent days, so it’s hard to gauge his own thoughts on what could be going on with the shoulder or how everything has been feeling. He had been undergoing a series of range-of-motion exercises last week, which seemed to all go well, considering he was cleared to play catch today. But now, with news that he might go to the doctor, it appears Braden is back to square one with no clear indication of when he might be able to start pitching again. In the meantime, the A’s will keep relying on Tyson Ross in that fifth spot of the rotation. Ross is slated to start tomorrow night against the visiting Indians.

Bailey, Braden progressing

The A’s relayed a dose of good news on Monday about their two rehabbing pitchers. Andrew Bailey, who has been undergoing a series of bullpen sessions, will pitch to hitters for the first time on Wednesday. That’s a big step for Bailey, as it indicates he’s nearing a Minor League rehab assignment. Bailey will likely want to face hitters twice before that time comes, and then there’s no telling how long Bailey will throw in the Minors before rejoining the club. I’m sure the A’s want to make sure he’s more than 100 percent ready before being activated. Dallas Braden, meanwhile, played catch for the first time since being placed on the DL. There was no indication before today’s game how it all went, but I’m sure we’ll get an update later.

In other news, Coco Crisp was held out of the lineup after his big Sunday performance. Bob Geren, keeping Coco’s recent injury in mind, says it’s just precaution and he fully expects him to play Tuesday.

Andy LaRoche got another start at third base on Monday, and Geren said he’ll keep finding ways to plug him in the lineup so long as he keeps hitting. That doesn’t always mean he’ll be at third base despite Kevin Kouzmanoff’s struggles both offensively and defensively, though. Geren noted LaRoche will also see time at second base and shortstop to give Mark Ellis and Cliff Pennington a day off here and there.

It’s a warm afternoon here at the ballpark, though I don’t suspect the crowd will be too large given the rare Monday matinee starting time.