Gutierrez: Braden staring at his own mortality

Gutierrez: Braden staring at his own mortality
May 11, 2011, 6:51 pm
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May 11, 2011 A'S PAGE A'S VIDEO Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.com
A year and two days after his date with destiny, Dallas Braden set an appointment with a surgeon and the As left-hander is suddenly staring at his own mortality.

The A's announced Wednesday morning that Braden, who authored the 19th Perfect Game in major league history on May 9, 2010, would undergo surgery this coming Monday to repair a torn capsule in his left shoulder. New York Mets medical director Dr. David Altcheck will perform the procedure in New York City.

A timetable for Bradens recovery will be determined after surgery.

Braden, 27, has been on the disabled list since April 18, retroactive to April 17, with what was initially diagnosed as shoulder stiffness with no structural damage by Dr. Lewis Yocum.

REWIND: Braden's Perfect Game -- Mother's Day 2010

But after having to shut down a mere game of catch last week because of the pain, Braden sought second and third opinions, from noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla., on Monday, and from Dr. Altcheck on Tuesday. The decision to undergo surgery was made shortly thereafter.

In his last start, on April 16 against Detroit, Braden threw five scoreless innings against the Tigers but left the game early with the shoulder stiffness. Afterwards, the normally affable southpaw was unusually glum. On the season, he is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA, 15 strikeouts and five walks in three starts.

REWIND: Braden seeking second opinion on shoulder

After making 420,000 last season, Braden signed a one-year, 3.35-million contract with the A's on Jan. 18, avoiding arbitration.

Since his memorable Mothers Day Perfect Game last season, Braden is 8-13 with a 3.51 ERA.

In his career, the Stockton product is 26-36 with a 4.16 ERA in 94 big league appearances, including 79 starts, with five complete games and two shutouts.

Braden's spot in the rotation has been ably filled by Tyson Ross, who has excelled in his last three starts. The young right-hander has allowed three earned runs in 19 13 innings over that stretch, lowering his ERA from 4.82 to 2.51. He is scheduled to start again Saturday, at home against the Chicago White Sox.