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Uh-oh, Braden headed for more shoulder tests

  In for Joe Stiglich tonight …
Not good news for pitcher Dallas Braden, who will make a return visit to Los Angeles orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum Wednesday for more extensive tests on his troubled left shoulder.

Braden, who has on the disabled list since April 18 after being removed from a game two days earlier with shoulder issues, was examined by Yocum on April 20 and told he simply had inflammation and no structural damage.

With that diagnosis, it was thought that rest would alleviate the issues. But when Braden’s throwing session to test the shoulder Monday did not go well, the A’s determined he should be examined again.

“I’m not positive what tests they’re going to do,” said manager Bob Geren “But to get re-examined, I’m sure they’ll look further into secondary things.”

Braden was not at the park Tuesday night to comment on his situation. Suffice it to say he’s probably very worried.

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Closer Andrew Bailey, out since spring training with right forearm strain, will face live hitters for the first time prior to tonight’s game.

“He’ll probably throw just fastballs,” Geren said. “He’s been throwing his offspeed pitches on flat ground, but as far as I know he hasn’t taken that onto the mound yet. He’s close to full velocity pretty much.”

Asked if he thought Bailey might make it back in May if he didn’t have any setbacks, the manager said, “It’s possible. It depends on how everything goes and when he actually gets into a (rehab) game. Once he gets into a game, we’ll have a better idea of when he’ll be back.”

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Utility man Andy LaRoche made his fourth consecutive start, his third straight at third base. But Geren stopped short saying LaRoche was the starter at third base for the time being in place of Kevin Kouzmanoff, who’s hitting just .208 after a strong spring.

“I’m just playing (LaRoche) right now because he’s swinging the bat really well,” Geren said. “I’m giving Kouz time to keep working. He’ll get back in there, too. Everybody will get their opportunities.”

LaRoche entered the game with the best average of any A’s hitter at .341 (14-for-41) with three straight games in which he collected a pair of hits.

Coco Crisp is also back in the lineup tonight, while Mike Sweeney spells Josh Willingham, whom the A’s don’t want playing too many games in a row after a recent minor back issue.

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The A’s have named Mike Henriques as interim strength and conditioning coach replacing Bob Alejo, who accepted a strength and conditioning position at North Carolina State.

Henriques was hired in November as the A’s minor league strength and conditioning coordinator after five years in the San Diego Padres organization.

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Why are the Indians the best team in baseball at the moment at 19-8? A few reasons. They’re hitting .272 to their opponents’ .239. They’ve clubbed 34 homers, opponents just 18. Over the last 25 games, Indians starters are 13-3 with a 2.92 ERA. The lineup is hitting .319 with runners in scoring position.

Suffice it to say this will be a telltale trip for Cleveland, which in recent years hasn’t fared well on the West Coast. In fact, they’ve lost nine of their last 10 series in Oakland and are 8-23 here dating back to 2003.

The lineups:

OAK–CF Crisp, 1B Barton, RF DeJesus, DH Matsui, C Suzuki, LF Sweeney, 2B Ellis, 3B LaRoche, SS Pennington. P Ross

CLE–CF Sizemore, SS A. Cabrera, RF Choo, C Santana, DH Duncan, 1B LaPorta, LF Brantley, 3B Hannahan, 2B Everett. P Carmona.  

 

 

 

 

Carl Steward