Braden out for season after successful surgery
Tear in southpaw's left shoulder leaves void in Oakland rotation
OAKLAND -- A's starter Dallas Braden underwent what the team deemed "successful" surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his pitching shoulder on Tuesday morning and, as expected, will sit out the remainder of the season -- leaving not just a void on the field, but off it as well.
"You never want to see this happen to anyone," said A's manager Bob Geren. "It's a tough part of our business. It's unfortunate for him he'll miss the rest of the season. We're going to miss him for sure."
Braden's surgery was performed in New York by Mets medical director David Altchek, who orchestrated the same operation on left-hander Johan Santana in September. The Mets hurler has yet to return to action and isn't due back until midseason at the earliest.
Given that time frame, the next question for Braden surrounds his ability to be ready by the start of the 2012 campaign. The A's, who saw him go 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in three starts before his injury, aren't ready to put a time stamp on a return. However, they're hopeful Braden's gritty nature equates to a quick recovery.
"His attitude, the way he's determined," Geren said, "that definitely always helps in rehab."
So does experience with the process. Braden, 27, has been the victim of numerous injuries throughout his eight-year professional career, including a shoulder problem that led to surgery and forced him to miss much of the 2006 Minor League campaign.
Never before, though, has he faced a break from the Majors for an extended period of time. As a result, the A's will rely on 24-year-old Tyson Ross to fill Braden's rotation spot through season's end. The young righty, who makes his next start Thursday against the Twins, is 3-2 with a 2.50 ERA in eight games -- five starts -- this season.
The A's also have a good amount of readily available depth in Sacramento, including Josh Outman, who has compiled a 4-1 record and a 4.78 ERA in eight starts for the River Cats.
Outman, who spent all of last season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery after he was a rotation mainstay for much of 2008, was a lead contender for Oakland's fifth starter spot out of Spring Training before experiencing a setback with his mechanics. But reports on his progress have delivered nothing but good news, Geren said.
"He's been throwing the ball well down there," Geren said. "He was obviously a little rusty, but he's getting back to where he was now.
"[Sacramento] has some guys down there that could help us if needed."