Oakland Athletics pitcher Dallas Braden has finally received a diagnosis on his ailing left shoulder and the news is not good. After getting multiple opinions, Braden will have surgery to repair his anterior capsule, which is the same surgery Johan Santana underwent last September. Braden will have the surgery performed by Dr. David Altchek in New York City. Dr. Altchek performed the same surgery on Santana.
Surgery is generally never good news and this particular surgery will be a tricky one for Braden. The team does not have a timetable for his return, but recent history would indicate he is probably finished for the season. Johan Santana underwent the surgery last September and he is not expected to return until late June or early July. Former Yankees starter Chien-Ming Wang underwent the surgery in 2009 and has not yet returned to baseball. This does not mean Braden's timetable will be this lengthy, but it will still be a while before he returns.
The A's pitching staff has excelled over the last two years, and some believe Braden's leadership and passion has been a driving force. In terms of straight talent, you could argue the team is better off with Tyson Ross in the starting five. Nonetheless, a team never wants to lose a starter in this fashion. It will be interesting to see if this impacts the psyche of the pitching staff at all.