Friday, March 26, 2010
30 A's in 30 Days – Dallas Braden
Acquired: Drafted in 24th round (2004).
Contract: One year thru 2010.
Position: Starting pitcher, half-man/half-M*A*S*H unit
Projected ERA: 4.11
Over/Under: As predicted in this space roughly 365 days ago, Braden turned a corner last year and was well on his way to a breakthrough campaign when a freak injury ended his 2009 season in late July. He developed a nasty rash on his left foot, which later became infected and ultimately – irreversibly, as it turned out – damaged the nerves within the foot. Braden and the A's have been publicly optimistic about the left-hander's recovery, but in the past 48 hours Braden received word from his neurologist that he'd never regain feeling in two of his toes and the left side of his left foot.
Additionally, he's just been diagnosed with a possible staph infection…on his left shin. Braden's a warrior (in baseball terms, not by sports-entertainment standards) who's gotten by on guile, but there's only so much the weight-bearing leg of a southpaw can take. He's one of many A's who are easy to root for, but until he shows he can pitch a full season on 60% of a left foot, I'm going OVER.
By the Numbers: 0 – The number of stolen bases Braden (and his catchers) allowed in 136.2 innings last year after picking off seven base runners in 2008.
Surefire 2010 Prediction: Braden "courageously" ignored doctor's orders and pitched in a Spring Training game earlier today against the Cubs. The prediction here is that someone on the A's medical staff will eventually realize that staph infections can be extremely serious – not to mention contagious – and in the month of March, discretion is always the better part of valor.
Snoop Dogg Track for the Season: My Medicine