Braves are cautious with Jurrjens (shoulder)

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – Jair Jurrjens’ sore pitching shoulder has already kept him off the mound for the first week of workouts, and the Braves think it will be at least a few more days before they let him on the hill.

A vital member of the Braves’ starting rotation, Jurrjens was diagnosed with shoulder inflammation a few days before camp opened. An MRI showed no damage to the rotator cuff or labrum.

Jurrjens, 23, progressed from light throwing to long-tossing at 90 feet Wednesday and again Friday, with what was described as minimal discomfort. If he can long-toss without pain from 120 feet this weekend, he could get on the mound early next week.

“He was begging Roger to throw today,” said manager Bobby Cox, who agreed that was probably a good sign that Jurrjens’ shoulder felt better.

The Braves begin Grapefruit League play Tuesday against the Mets at Port St. Lucie, Fla. If Jurrjens misses only a couple of starts, he might still have enough time to be ready when the regular season opens April 5 against the Chicago Cubs.

Cox said he would announce next week’s pitching plans either Saturday or Sunday, after finalizing details with pitching coach Roger McDowell.

Until Jurrjens was sidelined, he or Tim Hudson seemed likely candidates for the season-opening start against the Cubs at Turner Field. The setback presumably takes Jurrjens out of consideration, and the Braves could buy him a few extra days by moving him back in the rotation or skipping his first regular-season turn.

The three-game series against the Cubs continues April 7-8 following an April 6 off day that’s in the schedule in case of an opening-day rainout. After the opening series at home, the Braves will travel to San Francisco for a three game series April 9-11.

Jurrjens had third-lowest ERA (2.60) among National League starters in 2009, when he finished 14-10 and pitched a career-high 215 innings in his second full season in the majors.

Sick Wagner sent home: Billy Wagner was sick when he reported to work Friday morning, and the Braves told the veteran closer was sent home to his Orlando-area accomodations rather than risk spreading what was believed to be an upper respiratory infection.

The Braves have had viruses run through the clubhouse in recent spring trainings, knocking out multiple players at a time for multiple days. So they’re asking that players make it known if they’re sick, so they can be excused and stay away from the ballpark for a day or two, if necessary.

10 comments Add your comment

MEC

February 26th, 2010
4:52 pm

Good to hear, no need to push anything

Charlie

February 26th, 2010
5:01 pm

It’s a lot easier to be cautious now and lose a few days than to push it and lose a few weeks or more. They’re making the right decision.

gene garbage

February 26th, 2010
5:16 pm

what’s your gut feeling on this one,Dave? think this will be something that has a lingering effect? starting to sound like it to me….

Robz747

February 26th, 2010
5:19 pm

Agree with Charlie, who cares if he’s 1st or 3rd in the rotation… I feel like Hudson and Hanson would be just fine starting the first two games of the season then another day to let Jurrgens to rest before his start to close and hopefully sweep the series

DawgNDallas

February 26th, 2010
5:26 pm

Okay I know this is for the previous blog. But I put it here so you’d read it, DOB. How bout:
“The Bomba from McDonough!” — (of course, the second “b” silent.)

wjones

February 26th, 2010
5:31 pm

Might be able to make lemons out of lemonade. Retroactively DL JJ,hold JJ back to the 5th spot, whenever that comes into play, if need be, and let the last two bullpen arms fight it out for real, so that when he comes back the least effective pitcher gets sent down. Gives you an extra bullpen arm for the first few days of the season as well.

The season starts on April 5, with an offday the next day, so the fifth spot doesn’t really come into play until April 11, giving us 5 games with an extra bullpen arm, if JJ can’t go on opening day.

DawgNDallas

February 26th, 2010
5:33 pm

Oops typo in my last entry should say:
“The Bomba from McDonough!” — (of course, the second “b” is silent.)

Benjamin

February 26th, 2010
6:09 pm

I always get nervous when I read things like this, DOB….

38YearBravesFan

February 27th, 2010
8:51 am

It always seems to start ST this way. I’d rather they take it slow with him, which I’m sure they will. I also like the idea of sending home the sick ones. It really messed with our guys last year, and there’s some bad stuff going around right now, at least there is down here in Bama…

GO BRAVES!!

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