Braden Ends Comeback Attempt
This spring, former Oakland A's star left-hander Mark Mulder will be attempting a comeback from shoulder problems after several years out of the game. Unfortunately, another former A's standout lefty will not be taking the same road. Dallas Braden informed A's beat writer Susan Slusser that he was ending his comeback attempt from shoulder surgery because of another set-back.
Braden last pitched in early 2011, when he made three starts for the A's before landing on the disabled list with a left shoulder injury. He had surgery on his shoulder, but was unable to pitch in 2012. Braden was a free agent after the 2012 season, but he was never healthy enough to latch on with another team.
In 94 major league appearances with the A's, Braden had a 4.16 ERA in 491.1 innings. He had five complete games. The most memorable came on Mother's Day in 2010 when he threw the 19th perfect game in major-league history. Braden's catcher in that game, Landon Powell, also retired this off-season.
Braden was a 24th-round pick of the A's in 2004 out of Texas Tech. He rose quickly through the A's system despite missing nearly all of the 2006 season with a shoulder injury. Braden made his major league debut in 2007. He had 394 strike-outs in 350.2 innings as a minor leaguer and a 3.34 ERA.
A native of Stockton, Braden was given a day in his honor by the city of Stockton after pitching his perfect game. Braden told Slusser he intends to try to get into broadcasting or coaching now that his playing career is complete.
A's Announce Change To Minor League Pitching Coach Staff
The A's have made a couple of changes to their minor league coaching staff this week. Craig Lefferts, who had been announced as the pitching coach for short-season Vermont in 2014, has been moved to the same position for Low-A Beloit. Lefferts will be replacing Jimmy Escalante, who has left the organization.
Replacing Lefferts in Vermont will be Steve Connelly. Connelly was the pitching coach at the University of Alabama, Huntsville for the past three seasons.
Connelly was a 24th-round pick of the A's in 1995 out of Oklahoma. He spent four years in the A's system, reaching the big leagues briefly with Oakland in 1998. Connelly spent the final four seasons of his career pitching at the Triple-A level for the San Francisco Giants.
With Connelly as the Vermont pitching coach, the Lake Monsters have two coaches on staff that were drafted and made their major league debuts with the A's (hitting coach Tom Everidge is the other).