Dallas Braden will be shut down for the next three weeks

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When Dallas Braden strained his surgically-repaired shoulder last week, the A’s weren’t exactly sure how bad of a setback it would be to his ongoing recovery.

But that information has since been revealed.

According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, A’s manager Bob Melvin said Tuesday that Braden will be shut down for the next three weeks and will have to “restart” his throwing program after that. In other words, Braden’s original early-May return timetable can now be pushed back into June.

The 28-year-old left-hander has posted a 4.16 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 491 1/3 career major league innings. Another setback — even a minor one — could put him in danger of missing the entire first half of 2012.

Red Sox to extend protective netting at Fenway Park in 2018

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The Red Sox are the latest team to extend the protective netting at their ballpark this winter. According to a statement by club president Sam Kennedy, the exact dimensions of the netting have yet to be determined, but it will likely stretch “all the way to Field Box 79, down the left field line and then all the way down to almost Canvas Alley in the Field Box 9 area.”

Fenway Park received additional protective netting prior to the 2016 season, when the netting behind home plate was lengthened to the home and visitor dugouts. Per Kennedy’s statement, the current expansion should cover everything but the outfield corners, making it nearly impossible for a line drive foul to reach fans in the lower boxes.

After a toddler sustained serious injuries from a 105-MPH foul ball to the face at Yankee Stadium last September, over half of all MLB teams decided to take more extreme preventative measures in advance of the 2018 season. The Brewers, Cardinals, Braves, Astros, Royals, Pirates, Rangers, Padres, Nationals, Mariners, Phillies, Mets, Reds, Blue Jays, Giants, Yankees, Twins and Indians are among the organizations to address the issue over the last several years, while others have yet to take significant action.