Nevermind: Dallas Braden is starting tonight, as scheduled

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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.”

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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.

Felix Hernandez will miss 3-4 weeks with shoulder bursitis

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Mariners’ right-hander Felix Hernandez is looking at a 3-4 week recovery period, the team announced on Friday. Hernandez has been officially diagnosed with bursitis in his right shoulder after getting pulled from his last start against the Tigers on Tuesday.

It’s not the first shoulder issue the 31-year-old righty has dealt with during his career. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times notes that Hernandez was previously diagnosed with bursitis during a minor league stint in 2005, several weeks prior to making his major league start for Seattle. This time around, however, the injury is coupled with a few years of not-so-sharp stuff, waning velocity and career-low numbers, and while it’s certainly not a worst-case diagnosis, it seems like greater cause for concern.

Without Felix, the Mariners will keep rolling with James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma, Ariel Miranda, Yovani Gallardo and Chase De Jong in their rotation. They’ll also keep Ben Gamel in right field, with starting right fielder Mitch Haniger expected to miss 3-4 weeks after sustaining a Grade 2 strain in his right oblique on Tuesday.

Rays acquire RHP Drew Smith from Tigers

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The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.

Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.