UPDATE: I’m not sure exactly what happened here, but apparently Braden is just fine and will start as scheduled tonight.
This morning Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote:
I’ve just had it confirmed: Tyson Ross will come up to start tonight in place of Dallas Braden.
And now she writes:
For the record, the Athletics say there is no change in their starting pitcher. It’s Braden, as Buster Olney reported hours ago.
So much for “confirmed.”
Dallas Braden has been scratched from tonight’s scheduled start against the Blue Jays and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle notes that there’s speculation about him having a neck injury, but the A’s have yet to confirm or deny that.
Tyson Ross will be called up and may start in Braden’s place after losing the fifth-starter battle to Brandon McCarthy during spring training, but it could be just a one-start cameo because even if Braden can’t avoid the disabled list his stint could be backdated to his final spring start and make him eligible to return next week.
Assuming that Braden’s injury isn’t serious, of course. We should know more on that in a bit.
Tom Boswell of the Washington Post does frequent Q&As with readers and today he had quite the A to one of their Qs.
The question was about the Nats’ bullpen, which is obviously a glaring weakness on an otherwise excellent team. Following a long answer talking about the approach to bullpen construction, he dropped this:
On Friday, yet ANOTHER National simply walked up to me and said, “When the hell are they going to get this done? What are they waiting for? Waiting is just doing more damage.”
He didn’t even have to say what subject he was talking about or whom “they” were but it’s the bullpen and the Lerners.
A team has a problem when all a reporter has to do is say, “How’s it going?” and an established part of the team blasts the owners for not understanding what’s happening in their own dugout/clubhouse.
The Nats have a bit of a history venting to the Post’s reporters in ways a lot of players don’t vent, but that’s usually when things are going bad overall. These days, things are going pretty good for the Nats, the bum bullpen notwithstanding. I guess one weakness on an otherwise good team is annoying as hell.
But I guess now that they’re getting K-Rod, all of that will end.
The Nationals bullpen is a tire fire. They’re about to add another tire. Per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Washington is about to sign free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez.
K-Rod was released by the Tigers last week after posting an ERA of 7.82 over 28 appearances this season. He has a 1.658 WHIP, is allowing 11.9 hits per nine innings and is posting his highest walk rate in five years. Also worth noting: the Detroit Friggin’ Tigers decided that he was not good enough to be in their bullpen.
So, yeah, good luck with that Washington.