Braden Gets The Call; To Start Tues. In Balt.

On Saturday, we speculated in our mailbag that Dallas Braden might follow the 2006 path of Jason Windsor from Midland to Sacramento to Oakland. Although it took a lot less time in Sacramento than we figured, Braden has already fulfilled our prediction. After only one start in Triple-A, Braden has gotten the call to make his big league debut against the same team that Windsor did in 2006.

Since they were drafted, Dallas Braden and Jason Windsor have followed similar career paths. In 2004, Braden and Windsor were both drafted and both made the leap from Vancouver to Kane County that season. In 2005, both started in the Stockton rotation and both were early season call-ups to Double-A Midland. Both had their 2005 seasons cut short by injury.

In 2006, their career paths diverged a bit, as Braden missed the first four months of the season. Windsor, meanwhile, got off to a torrid start at Double-A Midland and parlayed that into an early season call-up to Triple-A Sacramento. He would make his major league debut that July against the Baltimore Orioles.

Less than a year later, Braden is following Windsor's lead once again, sources tell The left-hander began the year in Midland and after two outstanding starts, Braden was promoted to Triple-A, where he made his debut on Thursday. He was dominant on Thursday against Portland, tossing six shutout innings.

That performance was enough to convince the A's that Braden was ready for his first major league start, which, as it did with Windsor, will come at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Braden will bring with him a fastball that sits in the high-80s, low-90s and an excellent assortment of off-speed pitches, including an outstanding screwball.

In 18 innings thus far this season, Braden has allowed only eight hits and four walks. He has struck out 20 and has allowed three runs. Braden is not on the A's 40-man roster, and it is not yet known who will be removed from the 40-man roster to make room for Braden.

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