Oakland A's Notes: Brown Not Bitter

Andrew Brown had a rough week. The reliever had shoulder surgery on Jan. 29, and the same day, the A's decided to let him go.

Oakland needed to clear a roster spot for newly signed reliever Russ Springer, and with Andrew Brown unlikely to pitch again this season, the decision was fairly obvious.

"I feel badly for Andrew," A's assistant general manager David Forst said.

"The timing was unfortunate."

Brown, 27, first began to experience shoulder trouble after a quick return from an appendectomy last summer, and he missed much of the second half. He was advised to rest the shoulder and then rehab it.

He had no further pain in the joint, but Brown said when he began to throw again, his velocity was down a good 10-12 mph, into the mid-80s. Increased strength training didn't help, and Dr. James Andrews confirmed that Brown would need surgery.

Andrews repaired a 10 percent tear in the rotator cuff, Brown told the San Francisco Chronicle. The surgeon also fixed a small tear in the labrum and addressed bursitis in the area.

Brown will miss the entire year, but the A's have told him they will consider signing him to a minor-league deal when he is back at full strength.

Brown was not sour about his dismissal, telling the Chronicle, "They've got to move on and try to win. I understand that. I have nothing but respect and appreciation for the A's. The front office was always up-front and honest with me and I loved playing with that team. I want what's best for them."

Brown had a 3.05 ERA in 35 innings last year. He has 78 strikeouts in his 86 2/3 innings in the majors.

Other News And Notes

--LHP Ron Villone is among the veteran relievers the A's might target in the final two weeks before pitchers and catchers report. Villone, 39, was new Oakland reliever Russ Springer's teammate in St. Louis last year.

--2B Jemile Weeks, the A's top pick in last year's draft, will be fully able to participate in big-league spring training, assistant general manager David Forst told the San Francisco Chronicle. Weeks missed the second half of 2008 with a torn hip flexor and there was fear that he had incurred a sports hernia, but Forst told the paper that the final diagnosis was edema in the area of the original injury.

BY THE NUMBERS: 16 -- The number of big-league seasons Russ Springer has pitched in the big leagues -- 14 more than any other reliever on Oakland's 40-man roster.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I wouldn't just go anywhere. I feel Oakland has a chance to win the division and take me to the World Series before my career is done." -- Reliever Russ Springer, 40, after signing a one-year deal with the A's.

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