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McCarthy and Braden Flipped

April 5, 2011

A small little addendum to a Joe Stiglich article about the A’s road woes noted this:

“The A’s have flipped-flopped starting pitchers for the first two games of the Toronto series with Brandon McCarthy pitching Tuesday and Dallas Braden on Wednesday. Geren said the team wanted to give Braden an extra day of rest.”

Not sure why Dallas Braden would need an extra day of rest, on top of the day of rest prior to the start of the season, and the off day the A’s had yesterday, but my guess is for optics purposes Bob Geren wanted to have Braden be his “number four” starter and assigned him as such, but in practice didn’t like the idea of lining up three straight southpaws in the rotation hence enter right-handed Brandon McCarthy to break them up.

I like the idea of splitting the lefties in the lineup, while there are times it can be advantageous to have them lumped together (any trip to Yankee Stadium) you can’t plan that sort of thing out in advance, so spreading them out at least gives you a better shot of having some hit fields that are conducive to their handedness in pitching as opposed to inadvertently having them fall on dates that are opposite their strength simply because they’re lumped together. Now if it is true that Braden does in fact need an extra (extra extra) day of rest, that is a bit disconcerting – why on April 5 are you not ready to pitch when you last pitched March 30th six days ago?

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