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.

Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. goes 4-for-4 with walk-off homer in first game of Double-A doubleheader

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP
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Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. has gotten a lot of press lately and for good reason. He has absolutely torched Double-A pitching so far this season, entering Sunday’s doubleheader batting .407/.456/.676 with seven home runs and 41 RBI in 170 plate appearances.

Guerrero stayed hot, going 4-for-4 in the first game of the doubleheader, ending it in the bottom of the seventh inning — doubleheaders in the minors can be two seven-inning affairs — with a two-run homer.

Guerrero started off the back end of the doubleheader with an RBI single in the first inning, so he’s overall 5-for-5 with four RBI on the day as of this writing. He also now has 21 multi-hit games out of 39 total games this season. Today’s performance marked his second four-hit game; his other one occurred last Wednesday.

MLB Pipeline ranks Guerrero as the No. 1 prospect in the Jays’ system and No. 2 overall in baseball behind the Braves’ Ronald Acuña. The Jays may be forced to summon Guerrero to the big leagues if he keeps hitting like this. In a similar situation, the Nationals promoted hot-hitting 19-year-old outfield prospect Juan Soto earlier today after just 35 plate appearances at Double-A, skipping Triple-A entirely.