Tag:Dallas BRaden
Posted on: October 22, 2010 12:59 am

A's jettison medical staff

Injuries were the scourge of the A's this season, and it looks like the team isn't chalking it all up to bad luck.

On Tuesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the team would not renew the contract of the head trainer, Stephen "Soup" Sayles, who had been in charge for three years. In those three years, the A's used the disabled list 65 times. They used it 23 times this season, the second-highest number in club history. They lost a club-record 1,426 games to injuries.

Thursday, the Chronicle reported that the A's have split with Webster Orthopedic Group, its medical provider. Earlier in the week, pitcher Dallas Braden filed a lawsuit against the group for negligence, related to a 2009 cyst removal in his foot.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: October 10, 2010 7:29 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2010 10:35 am

R.I.P. A's: Injuries just too much

As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. Today: The Oakland Athletics.

Is there a more anonymous team in baseball right now than the Athletics? OK, maybe the Brewers.

The A’s are a clear No. 2 in a two-team market, they play on the West Coast, so nobody sees their games, they don’t have any high-profile stars because the roster is always filled with kids, and they’re neither good enough nor bad enough for you to really notice them.

With the exception of Dallas Braden’s perfect game, the A’s kept their usual low profile in 2010, finishing a perfectly average 81-81, nine games out in the American League West. They pitched well, but injuries and a lack of offense kept them from ever being a factor.


The A’s just didn’t hit well.  They were 11th in the AL in runs, 13th in total bases, 13th in slugging and 13th in home runs (thank goodness for the horrendous Seattle offense for padding the bottom of the barrel).

Their three players who made the most starts in the ever-rotating outfield combined for seven home runs. Seven! Nobody hit more than Kevin Kouzmanoff’s 16.

When you field a team with the lowest payroll in the league, you need everything to go right, and the punishing number of injuries the A’s had to deal with gave them no chance. They had 26 disabled list trips made by 23 different players, costing them a total of 1,399 games.

Where do we start? Eric Chavez made it 33 games before a bulging disc forced him out, and he might retire. Coco Crisp was limited to 75 games. Justin Duchscherer made just five starts, and Ben Sheets was lost on July 20. They got Conor Jackson in a midseason trade and got just 57 at-bats out of him.

The list goes on, but you get the idea.


The A’s got some great solid pitching at the top of the order, with Gio Gonzalez winning 15 in his first full season, Trevor Cahill winning 18 and Braden winning 11, including his May 9 whitewashing of the Rays. Oakland had the third-lowest ERA for starting pitchers in all of baseball.

Daric Barton had an outstanding year at first, batting .273 but finishing fifth in on-base with a .393. He also played good defense, as did the A’s in general, best in the AL by some defensive metrics.

The A’s also got good results from their bullpen, notably Craig Breslow and All-Star Andrew Bailey.

The rash of injuries among the veterans left a lot of playing opportunities for young players, and several have shown they will be big contributors, including Cahill and Gonzalez. And Brett Anderson is going to put up big numbers if he can stay healthy.

Outfielder Chris Carter had an ugly introduction to the majors, but is still a big prospect. Another top outfield prospect, Michael Taylor, is on the way, and will bring some power with him.

Nobody is going to be picking the A’s to win the World Series, but with their young, strong pitching and considering the extent to which injuries hampered them in 2010, they’ll certainly be expected to put up a winning record.


They need bats, but where do they get them? They have pitching to dangle, but trading young pitching isn’t exactly Billy Beane’s way. Crisp is one trade option (they’d have to pick up his $5.75 million option first), as the A’s are deep in the outfield.

The biggest decision the A’s face is whether to pick up second baseman Mark Ellis’ option at $6 million. He’s one of their few veteran leaders and is very good defensively, but that’s a decent chunk of change for the A’s and they have Eric Sogard on the way.

Without a big payroll move, which isn’t going to happen, there are no easy answers for the A’s. It’s going to be a balancing act between recovering injured players, developing organizational pieces and cut-rate free agents.


Considering they’re bound to be healthier and they have talent that is still maturing, the A’s should improve next season. But considering the AL wild card had 95 wins this season, it’s going to take a big improvement to get into playoff position.

Check out the rest of the R.I.P. reports here.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: July 28, 2010 12:00 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:01 pm

No-hitters anything but boring

Matt Garza With my DVR all ready and fired up to watch Mad Men on Monday night, I had to tell the wife we couldn't watch it right then, instead I pickd up the iPad and watched the last two innings of Matt Garza's no-hitter with Don Draper paused in the background.

The no-hitter was the first in Tampa Bay Rays history and the fifth of this magical season of the pitcher. These things are special, unless you're Mike Freeman. My colleague here at CBS Sports is bored by no-hitters and he's just not going to take it anymore .

Apparently five is the threshold to mediocrity -- five of 1,487 games played so far this season have finished with a pitcher not allowing a hit to the opposing team. Yep, 0.3362 percent is just too darn much to feel goosebumps.

Those odds, roughly one in 300, is as common as the Cubs winning this year's World Series, according to one line. Anyone taking that bet?

Freeman write that it's "difficult to dispute that no-hitters are losing their uniqueness." Did he write this in 1991? That may have been the case after 14 no-hitters in two seasons, but then there was just one in 1992.

To say that the five so far this season are the start of a trend is to be short-sighted and ignore the cyclical nature of history. Following those 14 no-hitters in the first two seasons of the 90s, there were 14 no-hitters in the next seven seasons. Or that perhaps the five we've seen this season make up for only one no-hitter thrown between June 2003 and September 2006.

While he's ignoring history, Freeman writes, "mostly average pitchers (not all but mostly) are throwing so many this season."

The no-hitter has always been about the greatness of a pitcher on that one day, not the pitcher's overall greatness. It's a small sample size, nine innings in a career of thousands.

In baseball's history, there have been 268 recognized no-hitters, with just 50 of those thrown by Hall of Fame pitchers (18.7 percent). If you take out Nolan Ryan's seven no-hitters, it's only 16.5 percent. I'll even be kind and add Bert Blyleven, Randy Johnson (two no-hitters) and Roy Halladay as future Hall of Famers, that percentage goes up to just 19.8 percent. So in history, one out of five no-hitters is thrown by a future Hall of Famer.

This year, one no-hitter has been thrown by someone who has a good shot at Cooperstown (Halladay -- although it's too early to mention the C word either way with the 26-year old Ubaldo Jimenez.)

If you look at 1991, five of the seven no-hitters were thrown by just one pitcher. Of those, one was thrown by a future Hall of Famer, Ryan. The other four were by two pitchers with very good careers (Bret Saberhagen and Dennis Martinez), a rookie (Wilson Alverez) and a pitcher who would win 37 career games (Tommy Greene). How different is that from this year's class of Halladay, Jimenez, Garza, Dallas Braden and Edwin Jackson?

History shows pitchers such as Hod Eller, Tom Phoebus, Bob Moose, Ed Halicki, John Montesfusco, Juan Nieves and Bud Smith are as likely to toss a no-no as Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Warren Spahn or Bob Gibson.

Those guys have no-hitters, heck, Steve Busby has two, as do Don Wilson, Bill Stoneman and Virgil Trucks, but Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine, Steve Carlton, Lefty Grove, Whitey Ford, Dizzy Dean, Mordecai Brown and Grover Cleveland Alexander didn't throw one.

The no-hitter is still unpredictable and takes a special mix of luck and skill. It is -- and always will be -- special, whether someone bothers to re-tweet the accomplishment or not. It's even enough to put off watching Joan Holloway -- and that's saying something.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 16, 2010 1:50 am
Edited on: July 16, 2010 10:28 am

Are A's buyers or sellers?

Coco Crisp As the second half of the season gets going, the buyers and sellers are pretty clear -- except, for maybe, the Oakland A's.

The A's are 43-46, eight games behind the Rangers and Joe Stiglich of the San Jose Mercury News looks ahead to the second half and talks to Billy Beane, who doesn't sound much like a buyer at this point.

"Certainly wins and losses are ultimately the most important thing," Beane told Stiglich. "[But] I always think you have to be careful and understand that with a young team, and a challenging financial situation, you have to temper your expectations somewhat and exercise patience."

Hardly the sound bite of a man willing to go for it all.

The A's trail the Rangers and the Angels, but of the 13 teams with losing records, the A's are the closest to a division lead.

As a seller, the A's have starter Ben Sheets (4-8. 4.63 ERA and a 2-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio) and outfielder Coco Crisp (.277/.333/.554).

As a buyer, Oakland could use another starter because of the recent injuries to Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden and more help in the bullpen -- but who isn't looking for bullpen help at this point?

Beane will have to make his decision soon -- but it shouldn't take long to push it. Although Texas usually flounders later in the summer , any misstep by the A's in the next couple of series (at Kansas City and against Boston) and the direction will be made easy.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 15, 2010 12:05 pm

Braden a long way from perfection

Dallas Braden Ubaldo Jimenez's no-hitter has been the crown jewel of an amazing season, as he won 15 games before the break and started the All-Star Game.

Since Roy Halladay threw a perfect game May 29, he has a 2.47 ERA, has pitched seven or more innings in all but one of his starts, and ended the first half with a nine-inning shutout.

For Dallas Braden, his unforgettable perfect game on Mother's Day has been the peak of an otherwise forgettable season. He's had nothing but bad luck ever since, as the A's have lost all eight of his starts and he's gone 0-5 with a 4.31 ERA and a .304 batting average against.

The post-perfecto blues are not unheard of, points out the San Jose Mercury News. The last man to pitch a perfect game, Mark Buehrle of the White Sox, didn't win again for six weeks.

For Braden, the issue has been a bum elbow, which has kept him from throwing all his pitches. He's not a power pitcher, and without his complete repertoire, he is at a significant disadvantage. The A's finally put him on the disabled list July 3, and Thursday night he will return to action for the first time, making a rehabilitation start for Class A Stockton, which is the left-hander's hometown.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: June 17, 2010 5:24 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2010 5:42 pm

AL manager struggles with NL strategy

See, the way this interleague play thing works is that you play by National League rules in National League parks and by American League rules in American League parks. So, if say, you're playing at Wrigley Field, pitchers have to hit.

Oh, wait, you knew that? Oakland manager Bob Geren apparently didn't. Perhaps Billy Beane should have gotten off his exercise bike to let him know that for Thursday's game against the Cubs.

Instead Jerry Blevins was in the game in the ninth and loaded the bases with three walks before Kosuke Fukudome's walk-off single.

In the eighth inning, the A's led 2-1 when Michael Wuertz loaded the bases and with one out, Geren brought in his closer, Andrew Bailey. That sounds about right, it's the highest-leverage situation. Where he went wrong was not double-switching, knowing the pitcher's spot (in this case, the No. 6 spot) was coming up to lead off the ninth.

In fairness, Geren showed an awareness of the National League rules in the seventh inning when he had Gabe Gross hit for Dallas Braden and stay in the game in right field, replacing Jack Cust.

But in the eighth, Geren brought Bailey into the game and made no other move. Bailey suffered his third blown save of the season when he gave up a sacrifice fly to Xavier Nady, before getting Alfonso Soriano to ground out to end the inning.

Ryan Sweeney singled to lead off the inning, but the A's couldn't get him in, setting up Fukudome's heroics.

The A's bullpen blew the win for Braden, who still hasn't picked up a victory since his perfect game on May 9. Braden was in line for the win after allowing just one run on five hits in six innings.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: June 12, 2010 12:47 am

Braden's next start delayed

It's been anything but perfect since his perfect game for Oakland's Dallas Braden.

Braden hasn't won a game since his perfect game on Mother's Day, and Friday the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser reports . Braden's scheduled Tuesday start will be pushed to Thursday because of several nagging injuries. Among those injuries are flexor-tendon tendinitis and epicondylitis, better known as tennis elbow. Braden's also has a return of the chronic nerve damage in his left foot.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 10, 2010 10:56 pm

A's Suzuki headed to bereavement list

A's catcher Kurt Suzuki will miss the team's series with Giants to go to Hawaii after the death of his paternal grandfather, the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser writes .

Suzuki will be put on the bereavement list and the A's will likely call up Landon Powell, Slusser speculates. Powell, who caught Dallas Braden's perfect game, will be in his fourth stint with Oakland this season.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com