Healing Jurrjens could be ready for mound

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. — After completing another flat-ground throwing session without shoulder pain, pitcher Jair Jurrjens was pining to get on the mound.

Braves manager Bobby Cox thinks it’s time to let him. He said that Jurrjens could throw his first bullpen session Monday, provided his shoulder feels good on Sunday.

Jurrjens, who was 14-10 with a 2.60 ERA last season, has been sidelined by shoulder inflammation during the opening week of spring training. He was hurt making an awkward throw in a loosely organized game in his native Curacao two weeks ago.

“The last two (sessions) have been great,” said Jurrjens, who threw from distances of 60, 90 and 120 feet during a 20-minute session in the outfield Saturday, while the Braves worked out in covered batting cages on a chilly, damp afternoon at Champion Stadium.

“I’m just waiting to find out what they think. I’m ready to get on the mound. I feel great. I threw some changeups, sliders, didn’t feel anything.”

During a similar but shorter throwing session Friday, Jurrjens said he had only minimal discomfort, which he rated as a “0.5″ on a scale of 1 to 10 – “really minimal,” he said.

On Saturday he felt even better. “Zero point 1,” he said, smiling. “I want to get to 0.0.”

If he feels fine on his recovery day Sunday, Cox said he could throw his first bullpen session Monday.

“Hopefully he can take a day off and go to the mound,” said Cox, who intended to meet again with pitching coach Roger McDowell to finalize the plan for getting Jurrjens back into the flow of things.

Three or four bullpen sessions could be enough to get him ready to pitch two innings in his first spring-training game start by the second week of March, Cox said.

“We’ll see,” he said. “We won’t push it. There’s no need to.”

The Braves open the Grapefruit League schedule Tuesday against the Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Cox had said he would announce the pitching plans during the weekend, but the Jurrjens situation caused him to postpone that announcement until Monday.

Cox said there’s plenty of time for Jurrjens to be ready when the season begins April 5.

11 comments Add your comment

chin music

February 27th, 2010
5:08 pm

thanks for the prolific spring-training bloggage, dob! it’s a pleasure to read all the updates.

Horner's Corner

February 27th, 2010
5:08 pm

GTsteve

February 27th, 2010
5:42 pm

Poorbrave

February 27th, 2010
5:57 pm

Thanks DOB. JJ should be ready I believe and will have a great year.

Josh

February 27th, 2010
6:18 pm

I wanna hear how Melky’s doing with all they Heyward Hype. That one picture made it look like he was uncomfortable in Braves camp.

Can of corn

February 27th, 2010
6:32 pm

This is good news. Just hope he’s not fibbing about any pain in that million dollar wing of his.

Youngerthan Thatnow

February 27th, 2010
6:51 pm

IMO, Jurrjens will be the ace of the staff in 2010 and for many years to come, with a challenge from Hanson for that coveted spot. It should be interesting and a good thing for Braves fans to watch. Either way that good natured competition goes, Braves fans win with those two being so close in age and in talent. Many similarities to Glavine and Smoltz in the early years with these two, down to one of them coming from Detroit in a trade… which the Braves winded up getting the best end of. If Jurrjens and Hanson see a fraction of the success that Glavine and Smoltz had, then we will all have something special to look forward to, barring serious injury. Personally, at this point I think that Jurrjens and Hanson are way ahead of where Glavine and Smoltz were at the same point in their careers. It should be good and we shall see. GO BRAVES!!

stew

February 27th, 2010
7:17 pm

Let’s all say a little prayer for JJ. He is a very important part of our team. If he is subpar for any reason, it certainly changes the dynamics of the rotation and its short-term future.

David O'Brien

February 27th, 2010
9:34 pm

Josh, why would Melky be uncomfortable with all the Heyward hype? Melky said a couple of days ago that his role will be to play at all three positions. He knows that, welcomes it, just wants to play a lot regardless of which OF position.

You think he wasn’t used to be completely overshadowed in NY playing for the Yankees?

Melky did an interview the other day with a few of us, and we’ll need to get a translator if we do another, I’m afraid. I got a few things he said, but not much. Here’s what I was able to take from that interview:

“I’m happy for the opportunity. The manager is good, the players – I’m very happy.”

On his role: “I like to play every day. I don’t know, I may play left, right, center – I like the opportunity.”

And on what he brings to the team: “I play every day to win. I Work hard.”

[...] DOB says Jair Jurrjens may be close to returning. Jurrjens has been throwing pain-free for a few days and will look to throw his first bullpen session Monday. [...]

Tokyo Bravo

February 28th, 2010
5:58 am

Seems to me that our outfield could be geeting crowded. with Melky, Diaz, Heyward, McClouth and /schaefer all in the mix. It’ll be great fun watching it all shake out.

Truth be told, I’m at least as interested in seeing how Kawakami handles his second season in the U.S. The guy had us in games with Halladay and others, and gets too little cred for his many fine starts, IMO. Wishing him the best of luck.

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