M*A*S*H Report: Clint Brannon

LHP Clint Brannon, a low-level pitching prospect, was the Cubs' compensation in the trade that sent Jon Leicester to the Texas Rangers in the offseason. Since coming over, Brannon has appeared in four games with Class-A Daytona and is currently on the disabled list with shoulder soreness.

A former University of Arkansas hurler, Brannon allowed six runs in 4 2/3 innings from Daytona's bullpen before being sidelined in late April.

He spent the second half of last season in the starting rotation for Class-A Bakersfield of the California League and has gone back and forth between starting and relieving throughout his professional career.

"My rehab is right on schedule," Brannon said during the Cubs' recent series against the Brevard County Manatees. "Since I've been on the DL, I've been working on getting back into shape more than anything. When I left Mesa (Ariz.) for Daytona, my arm got a little sore and I've had to work hard to get it back up to par."

Brannon features a high-80s fastball, a sinker, changeup and slider in his repertoire. After originally showcasing an over-the-top delivery, he had temporarily converted to a sidearm motion prior to the trade.

"When I was working with Orel Hershisher and John Wetteland with the Rangers," Brannon said, "they felt maybe there was a better opportunity for advancement as a left-handed pitcher who threw sidearm."

The experiment didn't last long, and Brannon has since gone back to his original delivery.

"I only started throwing sidearm in the offseason. This year in Spring Training was actually my first year of ever really throwing from that angle. At the end of the spring when I joined the Cubs, I decided to go back over the top."

Brannon hopes to come off the disabled list soon, but admits there's no need to rush his return. When he does, he eventually plans to return to starting.

"The Cubs have said they would like me to start. I'm hoping to be back in about a week or two," he said. "Right now, we're taking it day by day. I threw a simulated game (on Tuesday). My arm is getting stronger."

The 23-year-old was 9-7 with a 4.45 ERA in 29 games for Bakersfield in 2005. He was selected in the 34th round of the 2004 draft by Texas.

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