Braden not optimistic about making next start

Braden not optimistic about making next start

OAKLAND -- A's lefty Dallas Braden, who exited Saturday's outing after five frames because of shoulder stiffness, was scheduled to see the team orthopedist on Sunday to determine the severity of his injury and whether he'll be able to make his next start.

Following Sunday's game, an A's official said the results of Braden's visit with the doctor were unavailable.

Braden, uncharacteristically sporting a rather glum face on Sunday morning, did not appear optimistic about being ready for that start, which is slated for Friday in Seattle. He was a man of few words, simply saying his shoulder feels "tight and it hurts."

A's manager Bob Geren acknowledged Braden's gloomy nature but relayed a sense of understanding.

"He didn't look happy last night," Geren said. "Anytime he's pitching as well as he is and has to come out of the game, there's no way I'd expect him to be anything but disappointed. He's such a competitor."

Before exiting Saturday's contest against Detroit, Braden had allowed just three hits and one unearned run with five strikeouts and two walks. Carrying a 3-1 lead, he was replaced by Brad Ziegler to start the sixth in an eventual 6-2 victory.

"If there was any way he could have continued," Geren said, "he would have."

The A's have an off-day Monday, meaning Braden would be given an extra day of rest if cleared for Friday's outing. Geren noted that day could be "beneficial to us" and did not speculate who would start in Braden's place if he's unable to go.

Right-hander Tyson Ross and lefty Bobby Cramer, currently stationed as long-relief options in the bullpen, represent likely candidates.

The 27-year-old Braden, who said he has never experienced shoulder problems in his big league career, has been on the disabled list twice in four previous seasons. He is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in three starts this year.