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Gameday Thread: Athletics at Orioles, 04/24

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Game Time: 3:05 | TV: MASN | Radio: WHFS
Dallas Braden, LH Jeremy Guthrie, RH (0-0, -.--) (1-0, 3.38) LF S Stewart 2B B Roberts CF N Swisher 3B M Mora 3B E Chavez RF N Markakis DH M Piazza SS M Tejada 1B T Walker DH A Huff SS B Crosby LF J Payton 2B M Ellis 1B K Millar C J Kendall CF C Patterson RF D Putnam C A Castillo

Lefty Diamond Dallas Braden is making his first career start for the A's today, replacing the surprisingly injured Rich Harden in the rotation for the time being. Braden is a screwballer, one of the last of his kind. Jim Mecir, I think, was the last major league screwballer, and he had clubfeet. Braden is coming off of shoulder surgery and BP's description of him (a screwballer with pretty much nothing else) isn't very encouraging. I hate to root against such an odd character in his major league debut, but well, what can I do? Braden is 23 years old and played his college ball at Texas Tech.

In an interview with AN, prospects guru John Sickels said of Braden, "His problems in Double-A are typical of a guy who relies on a trick pitch to breeze through lower levels. He's a Grade C prospect, a possible contributor at the major league level, but not someone who is likely to play a huge role."

I'm still not the President of the Jeremy Guthrie Fan Club, but who the hell else is gonna start? I question using Burres for three innings last night in case of disaster. I also question it because at that point in the game, Scott Williamson throwing more than one-third of an inning didn't seem like it was going to be the biggest deal. If Williamson is that fragile, is he really of any worth?

Anyway, today Guthrie makes the inevitable start. Jaret Wright is currently slated to be back on Sunday, and Ramon Hernandez hopefully on Thursday. I had this weird nightmare that Perlozzo dropped Bynum and kept Alberto Castillo around, then had Chris Gomez released so he could call up another reliever. I didn't actually have that nightmare, that was a fib. But the scenario did cross my mind.