OAKLAND -- Left-hander Dallas Braden threw another bullpen session before Saturday's game against the Yankees, taking another step in his rehab from his strained surgically repaired shoulder. But just as important, perhaps, the pitcher is beginning to have success with a recently implemented mechanical change.
Braden used to bring his arm straight down out of the break of his hands, and then brought his arm back and began to throw when he was already headed toward the plate with his body.
But because of the stress that maneuver puts on his shoulder, Braden has altered his hands break, making an effort to reach his arm back quicker and thus help preserve his shoulder.
Braden said he's still "ironing those things out," but he's pleased with the improvement that he's noticed in between bullpens and throwing sessions. The next step is for the lefty to be able to consistently let go of the ball forcefully without hesitating because of his injury.
"I threw a couple today that I really just said to myself, '[Let's cut it loose],' and it felt all right," Braden said. "When you're up there, you're in the stretch, you got runners on, you're bearing down, you want a heater, you're going to let it go. And I don't want to go up there and go, 'Should I?' No, [I've got to] throw it."
After another bullpen on Tuesday, Braden expects to go the A's complex in Arizona sometime around next Friday to throw to hitters. It would be the first time he'll have done so since his rehab began.