While the Oakland A’s finally got some type of answer regarding pitcher Dallas Braden’s recovery time from shoulder surgery on Tuesday, it probably wasn’t the type of news they were expecting. The A’s will lose Braden for the remainder of the 2011 season. It remains unclear whether the lefty, who threw a perfect-game last year, will be ready for the start of the 2012 season.
The A’s starting pitching as a whole has remained the team’s biggest strength, but Oakland’s rotation will miss Braden’s veteran leadership. At 27, Braden was the sounding-board for many younger pitchers like Gio Gonzalez, Brett Anderson, and Trevor Cahill.
Entering this year, many expected Oakland’s rotation to be one of the best staffs in baseball. The A’s currently lead the majors in ERA (2.74), and are riding on the shoulders of their young trio of Anderson-Cahill-Gonzalez, also known as the “Big Three” version 2.0.
The A’s also have veteran Brandon McCarthy and youngster Tyson Ross filling in at the backend of the rotation. Both pitchers have proved to be effective in their respective roles, furthering the notion that Oakland has no problem finding good pitchers.
Still, losing Braden, who made just three starts this season, for an entire season is a big blow to the team and organization. Hopefully Braden makes a speedy recovery, and here’s to hoping that the rest of Oakland’s rotation remains healthy.